Despite the consistent drop in the inflation rate in the country, the prices of foodstuff have continued to rise in Kwara State.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday through its latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) said the inflation rate in July dropped by 0.37 per cent to 17.38 per cent; the lowest in six months.
Checks across various markets in Kwara metropolis showed high rate of lamentation as traders continue to groan over what they term consistent and persistent increase of prices of foodstuff for months.
At Mandate Market, a trader, Hajia Arinola Ibrahim, said a bag of rice sold for N24,500 and a carton of spaghetti went for N5,600 from N5,200, adding that Golden noodles was sold for N2,100 from N1,800, while the price of Indomie ranged from N2,500 to N2,600 per carton.
It was observed that a 25-litre gallon of vegetable oil was sold for N27,000, while one litre went for N900. Five litres of palm oil was sold at N3,600 from N2,800.
At the Oja-Oba Market, Ilorin, Spaghetti (Crown) was sold at N5,800 from N3,200, while Golden Penny goes for N5,400 from N3,200. A bag of rice was sold at N24,000.
At the Obbo Road Market, a measure of rice sold for N2,200 from N1,100, while garri was sold for N300 from N120. Semovita (10kg and 5kg) goes for N2,500 and N5,500 respectively, while a gallon of vegetable oil is sold for N19,000.
According to many of the traders, the prices of foodstuff and commodities were increasing hourly.
Reacting to the issue, a leading economist in the state and former HOD of Economics, University of Ilorin, Prof Gafar Ijaya, said the figures provided by NBS might not necessarily mean a reduction in the prices of food.
Prof Ijaya said, “What was provided is only an aggregation of the general price leve. In most cases, we tend to isolate the cause or blame it on the government alone without looking at the artificial increase we caused ourselves because of greed.”
“For instance, a 50kg bag of rice produced in Kebbi State for about N13,000 will be sold here for about N26,000. Do you blame the government for that or retailers?
“So the marginal drop in the inflation according to the NBS may not be as a result of the prices of food, but other items.”