A survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Warri showed that price of onions, tomatoes, pepper, rice, beans and other staple foods have increased.
However, Traders have attributed the development to scarcity of petrol.
Alhaji Kasimu, the Chairman of Onion Traders in Igbudu Market, told NAN that price of a bag of onions has increased to between N23, 000 and 25,000.
He said that a bag of onion was sold for between N20, 000 and N22, 000 before now.
“The scarcity of fuel has affected the cost of transporting our produce from the North to Delta. We were paying ₦1,300, we now pay ₦1,500 per a bag.
“Again, the tax collectors, otherwise called “produce’’ collect huge levies from us in Edo and Delta; we pay ₦5000 per vehicle,’’ he said.
Kasimu said that patronage was also low.
Mr Ali Yakubu, the Secretary of Onion Traders Unit in Igbudu, said it was depressing that traders would go to market and would be made to pay outrageously for their wares.
“After buying goods at exorbitant prices, traders are still compelled to pay huge levies on the road and if they don’t pay, they will book them,’’ he said.
Mrs Esther Nosakhaire, a pepper seller in Main Market, said the price of a bag of ‘’Yoruba pepper’’ had risen from ₦5,000 to ₦7,500, while that of “Sokoto’’ had risen from ₦8,500 to ₦10,500.
She said a small basket of ‘’Sokoto’’ pepper, which earlier sold for N1000, was now being sold for ₦1,500.
Mrs. Esther appealed to the Federal Government to address the problem of fuel scarcity to stop the hardship.
Mrs Margret Oloko, a rice seller at Pessu Market, said the price of a 50kg bag of Mama Gold rice had increased from ₦11, 500 to ₦12,500.
“The price of rice will still increase before Christmas, but at the moment the cost of regular brands like Mama Africa, Elephant, Gold and others are sold for ₦11,000 against ₦10,500,’’ she said.
`Mrs. Margret decried the low patronage, attributing it to lack of funds.
Mr Williams Orakpotobo, a tomato seller at Okere Market, said a basket of “Hausa” tomatoes goes for between ₦11,000 and ₦12,000 depending on the size and quality.
“Before, a basket of tomatoes is between ₦3,500 and ₦4,000.
“The challenges in this business are much; tomatoes are perishable and we don’t have storage facilities.
“These ones we are selling at the rate of ₦11,000 will later fall to ₦7,000 because we don’t have anywhere to store them,’’ he said.
Mr. Williams appealed to the government to assist them with storage facilities.
NAN reports that pump price of a litre of petrol in Warri is between N150 and N180, while black market rate is between N230 and N250.