By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
Residents of Imo State have cried over skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs in Imo markets.
A survey conducted by newsmen on Saturday indicates that prices of these items have continued to spiral since the removal of subsidy on fuel.
Despite the assurance of Governor Hope Uzodimma, to set up the Imo State Marketing and Commodity Board and Low Cost markets across the 27 local government areas to checkmate the prices of food items, there is no end in sight in rise of food prices.
“I have discovered with pain, how traders are taking advantage of the economic situation to increase the prices of food items in the market
“The State government will soon establish the Imo State Marketing and Commodity Board, which will ensure food items are sold at normal prices”Uzodimma had said at Imo Stakeholders meeting in Owerri.
While the Board is being awaited, both traders and consumers in the State continue to complain bitterly over the situation, calling on the State government to swiftly intervene.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Mrs Nkechi Amadi, a foodstuff seller at Relief Market, Owerri, blamed the rising cost on removal of subsidy on fuel which led to increase in cost of transportation.
Our reporter observed that prices of major food items such as yam, rice, maize and beans, go up on a weekly basis.
A paint of beans was sold for N2,200 before the fuel subsidy was removed. But now, it is sold for N2,500, while a paint of rice sold for N2,500 in the past, is now sold for N3,500.
A bag of rice, previously sold for N25, 000 is now sold for N35,000 to N45,000 depending on the class of rice- foreign or local.
A tuber of yam sold previously for N600, is now sold for N1,500.
Four pieces of potatoes sold for N200 in the past, goes for N500 presently.
Fruits are not left out. One bunch of Water lemon sold for N700 in April, is now sold for N2,000 to N2,500 each.
A crate of egg which is sold previously for N1, 500, is presently sold for N2,500.
A full live chicken sold for N4,000, is now sold for N8,000 to N9,000, depending on the size, while a bag of Satchet “Pure Water” sold for N150, is sold for N300.