By Patrick Obia and Marilyn Uyanah
As Nigerians prepare to join the muslims celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad, CrossRiverWatch observed that the cost of common food items in two major markets in Calabar, the Cross River capital have increased.
The Federal Government had announced Thursday as public holiday to celebrate Eid-ul Mawlid.
FG DECLARES THURSDAY OCTOBER 29, 2020 PUBLIC HOLIDAY TO MARK EIDUL-MAWLID CELEBRATION
The FG has declared Thursday October 29, 2020 as Public Holiday to mark this year's Eidul-Mawlid Celebration in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
— Ministry of Interior (@MinOfInteriorNG) October 27, 2020
And, when CrossRiverWatch visited the Ika Ika Oqua (Marian) and Watt markets on Wednesday, both were bustling with activities amidst frowns, hasty negotiations and a tensed atmosphere as many hurry home to beat a curfew imposed by the State due to the massive looting that occurred last weekend.
A cup of rice that was sold at NGN170 now sells at NGN200 with a bag of it ranging from NGN34,000 to NGN35,000.
A carton of noodles (Indomie super pack) that was sold at NGN2700 now sells at NGN3750 Naira while Beans is now sold between NGN80 to NGN90 per cup and two cups of Garri retailed for NGN100 while five cups go for NGN200.
Also, a small stack of fresh tomatoes is now sold at NGN500 while a tin (short) of it is now sold for NGN270.
A 75cl bottle of pallm oil now sells between NGN400 to NGN500. While the price of a small bunch of waterleaf remains at NGN50, the size has dropped considerably.
A crate of egg which was sold for between NGN800 and NGN900 now costs a minimum of NGN1200.
Efforts to talk to traders were largely unsuccessful as their frowning faces told a lot about how business has been. Negotiations for items often turned sour as buyers make bids lower than what the traders offer.
At Ika Ika Oqua market, one of the traders, Mrs. Comfort Joseph complained about lack of patronage from buyers, shifting the blame to inflations and the curfew in session as everyone tries to beat time amidst reports of abuse by military personnel and police officers.
CrossRiverWatch observed that the mood of both traders and buyers was not good with some openly complaining that money was no longer in circulation as it used to be.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.