Story from Kenneth AFOR, Lagos
The current economic hardship in the country is gradually gathering momentum as empty bread shelves in shops in some parts of Lagos are surfacing due to increment in prices of the staple food.
According to a shop owner who told our correspondent in Lagos, bakers did not show up for the regular supplies over the weekend due to speculations of a purported increment in prices of the number one daily breakfast meal.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, September 15, 2020, few shops whom before now display up to five different bread brands of bread are left with two brands while others one brand and have reduced the quantity with which they normally buy from bakers. They affirmed that bakers and suppliers have increased the prices of the different sizes of bread.
They explained that the regular N100 size of bread now sells for N120 while other sizes which sell for N300 now sell for N350 and slices which sell for N250 sell between N270 to N300.
This is currently having a boomerang effect on families and consumers who daily buy bread for breakfast hence will have to spend an extra 20 per cent to 50 per cent to get bread for breakfast.
Speaking to a staff of one of the popular bakers in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area in the State on the telephone when asked the reason for the increase who did not give much detail, he said, “the prices of sugar and flour have gone up, they have added money, that is why.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari in August, directed the country’s apex bank chief, Mr Godwin Emefiele not to sell forex to food importers except for importers who import key commodities into the country this might be one of the reasons for the current increment due to the country’s inability to produce flour and sugar for local consumption.
Economic experts have divergent views on the president’s directive, some have argued that the move may not favour low-income earners and manufacturers who depend solely on imported agricultural commodities as raw materials to keep production of essential food items on the go while, others are of the opinion that the directive is one of the ways to encourage local production to boost the nation’s economy.
The buck stops on the desk of the president and his economic to proffer lasting solutions to the country’s looming economic woes.