FCT residents squeak as food prices soar, FG urges patience

According to residents, it is essential to implement policies that can effectively address the inflation challenge and stabilise prices.

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FCT residents squeak, food prices soar, FG urges patience, Lucy OgalueBy Lucy Ogalue

Nigerians in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are concerned over the continued instability and increase in the cost of essential goods and services in the city centre.

Headline inflation rate released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in February showed that inflation rate surged to 31.70 per cent, with food inflation hitting a staggering 37.92 per cent.

These inflation pressures have led to significant volatility in the prices of essential commodities, posing a challenge to the livelihoods of many residents.

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Inflation is a decrease in the purchasing power of money, reflected in a general increase in the prices of goods and services in an economy.

It is typically a broad measure, such as the overall increase in prices or the increase in the cost of living in a country.

The spike in food inflation in Nigeria has made it increasingly difficult for many families to afford essential food items, leading to concerns about food security and access to nutritious meals.

The rising cost of transportation has added to the financial strain on residents, making it harder for workers for instance, to commute to work and access basic services.

Due to these developments, there is a pressing need and call for measures to address the underlying causes of inflation and ensure price stability for essential goods and services in the country.

According to residents, it is essential to implement policies that can effectively address the inflation challenge and stabilise prices.

They, therefore, urge relevant authorities and policymakers to take steps to mitigate the impact of inflation on the daily lives of the people.

They further urge that efforts that would enhance food security and support vulnerable households should be prioritised to mitigate the adverse effects of inflation on access to food.

Mrs Anthonia Yusuf, mother of three, expressed her distress over the soaring prices of food items, saying it is becoming increasingly difficult to put food on the table for her family.

“The prices of basic food items like rice, beans, and cooking oil have almost doubled in the past few months. I am deeply worried about how we will cope if this trend continues.

“ As a mother, I feel for children out there without parents. I cannot even imagine how they are able to fend and survive with the increased cost of living we are experiencing,’’ she said.

Also, another resident, Mrs Patience Akpa said: “Thse days, I do not attach prices to the list of items I intend to buy form the market because I cannot guarantee that the price would still remain the same.

“This is not good for us, we cannot even afford to plan because we do not know what tomorrow holds or will bring to our door-step.

“ We pray and hope the government and people in charge of policies will look into this unstable and increasing cost of living in the country.’’

Similarly, Mrs Favour Akputu said :“ my family is now living one day at a time and our only hope is in God whom we are trusting will continue to provide our needs.

Mr Ibrahim Usman, a civil servant, highlighted the ripple effects of the inflation on transportation costs.

“Commuting to work five days in a week has become a financial burden due to the rising transport fares.

“With the increasing cost of living, my salary is no longer sufficient to cover these additional expenses, thus, something needs to be done to address this issue speedily,” Usman said.

Similarly, Ms Ngozi Okoro, a small business owner, shared her concerns about the impact of inflation on her enterprise.

Okoro said as a retailer, she had witnessed a decline in customers as they struggled to cope with the escalating prices of goods.

She said :` This is affecting my sales and profitability, and I fear that if this persists, I may be forced to close down my business because right now I am even managing to cope and stay in business.

“And if that happens, my family will suffer because this business is the only source of income I have to support my husband who his taxi driving barely provides the need of the family.’’

For his part, Mr Moses Osita, a student, underscored the challenges faced by his peers, especially students from low-income backgrounds.

“ Many of my peers are finding it hard to afford meals on campus. The higher food prices have made it difficult for students with limited financial resources to meet their basic needs.

“ This is affecting our academic performance and well-being. If the youths are truly` leaders of tomorrow’, then something needs to be done urgently, because we are currently uncertain of our tomorrow,” Osita said.

Meanwhile, Mrs Fatima Adajime, a retired worker, drew attention to the plight of senior citizens of the country, the retired individuals.

“As a pensioner, I rely on my fixed income to cover my expenses. The steep increase in food prices has eroded the purchasing power of my pension. It is disheartening to see fellow retirees struggling to afford essential items.

“Due to our age, a lot of us suffer one health challenge upon another and the cost of drugs is nothing to write home about, these challenges needs urgent solutions by relevant quarters,’’ Adajime said.

According to Mr Francis Adams, a financial expert, many Nigerians are currently struggling with hardship due to government reforms including the removal of petrol subsidy.

Adams said the depreciation of naira had eroded incomes and savings of many, adding that this had worsened with Nigeria’s increased headline inflation rate recently released by the NBS.

He is, however, optimistic that if well managed, the reforms will yield positive dividends in the future.

He said as Nigerians continued to grapple with the repercussions of soaring inflation,

He urged the government to, in the interim, implement policies that would cushion the effects of inflation on the citizens.

“It is imperative for authorities to take decisive action to mitigate the impact of inflation and ensure the well-being of the populace’’, Adams said.

According to him, the pursuit of price stability is crucial in safeguarding the well-being of Nigerians and fostering a more sustainable and equitable living environment.

President Bola Tinubu has called for patience as his administration navigates the economic situation considered unpleasant by many Nigerians.

“I would like to solicit for understanding and support of Nigerians towards the government’s economic reform programmes inspired by the difficulties involved.

“We are very much hopeful that these policies will yield the desired results in no distant future”, Tinubu said through Prof. Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education at the 43rd graduation ceremony of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

 

 News Agency of Nigeria.