Traders of essential commodities at the popular Mushin market have continued to lament the soaring prices of food items which have affected patronage.
Investigation at the market showed that most traders have closed shops as buyers no longer patronise them due to the exorbitant cost of commodities.
A trader, simply identified as Mrs Labake, who deals in potatoes, said, the sharp increase in the cost of potato had affected her business capital as sales was low, stating that she would hardly make profit after trading.
“Potatoes selling at N200 now cost N500. This is because a bag of potato, which did cost N7,000 has now increased to N15, 000. With this, we still have to make our own profit. This is the reason we are calling on the government to come to our aid by subsidising commodities grown in Nigeria. We are tired of low sales,” she said.
Another trader lamented that despite efforts by traders to part with some profits on goods, poor patronage had become discouraging.
“There is nothing to show for our effort in terms of expected gains or profit. We are only praying that our labour should not be in vain at the close of trading activities,” she said.
Mrs Ngozi, who sells palm oil, lamented that she always made trips to South East for some oil, but unfortunately, the business had gone moribund.
She added that by the time she calculated her expenses and subtracted the same from the cost of the items, buyers often felt cheated.
Mrs Pamela, a vegetable trader, wants the Federal Government to intervene in astronomical increases in the cost of food items.
She said:“Prices of pepper, rice, beans among others, have all gone up and the hike in price cut across every item. A bottle of soft drink we were buying at N100 now costs N150 and to consumers, it is a lot of increase. To worsen the situation, the government is not helping matters.”
Mrs Mojidat Olatunji said: “There is a lot of work that the government will do to help us. The white man keeps the fish somewhere and would not sell, only to pass the buck to us, the traders. Carton of fish that used to cost N7,000 is now sold for N30,000. We are pleading with the government to assist us with a view to ensuring the reduction in the price of food items. We are only managing to eat. The hike in price of commodities has almost eroded our profit.”