Some dealers in food items in Calabar, the Cross River capital, had attributed the rising cost of some commodities in the city to the deplorable condition of roads in the state.
The traders made the assertion at the Watt and Marian Markets, Calabar, during a survey conducted on Sunday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
A plantain dealer at Watt Market, Mrs Roseline Etta, said that the price of plantain had increased because of the high cost of transporting the commodity to the city.
“Due to the bad condition of roads, the drivers have increased the transport fares; sometimes, they refuse to convey our goods to Calabar because of the bad nature of the roads.
“I have been in this plantain business for almost three years now. I go as far as Yakurr Local Government Area to buy plantains in bulk.
“A very big bunch of plantain that used to go for N1,900 is now N2,500; it is not our fault because motorists have also increased the fares because the roads are bad,” she said.
Mr Francis Ubong, a yam dealer in the same market, said the cost of conveying the product to Calabar from Ikom Local Government Area of the state had risen.
Ubong lamented that only few transporters now accepted going to Ikom to carry yams to the city because of the deplorable condition of the roads.
“I have not been having it easy with transporters. Sometimes they refuse to follow us to the bush where we normally buy the commodity cheaper because of bad roads.
“A journey from Calabar to Ikom that usually took three hours now takes seven hours,” he said.
According to him, an average size of yam sold for N400 in August, now sells for N600, while a big tuber earlier sold for N700 now goes for N,1000.
For Mrs Sarah Okon who sells garri in Main Market, the story is the same as she also attributed the high cost of the commodity to the rise in transport fares.
According to Okon, a basin of garri that used to go for N3,500 is now N4,000, because of the increase in fares.
“The transporters have increased their charges and we have also increased our prices of the commodities too,” she said.
A resident, Mr Richard Emeka, however, said that the increase in prices was expected.
“The price increase is not a surprise in Calabar, considering the deplorable state of the roads leading to where the commodities are produced.
“We have been suffering as a result of bad roads in the state, especially the federal roads.
“ I am appealing to the federal and state governments to repair these roads to promote economic growth in the state.
“I know that in business you must make profit; but I am appealing to the food dealers not to hike the prices of food items this Christmas period,” he pleaded. (NAN)
Source : Leadership