How Forex crisis, fuel price hike impact food prices in Nigeria


As Sallah celebrations commence in Abuja, traders selling foodstuff have recounted the effects of the current economic conditions on their businesses.

The government officially confirmed that the economy was in recession after Nigeria experienced negative growth for two consecutive quarters.

While most Nigerians have lamented the impact of the recession as well as worsening value of the Naira on the foreign exchange market, a few public officials like the head of the government owned News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, have sought to downplay it, saying the economy was not as bad as being portrayed in the media.

“Are the media and bloggers really painting a correct image of our country? It’s time for the media to objectively conduct a reality check about our reports, whether we are not over sensationalising so-called hardship that we talked about,” Bayo Onanuga, the NAN chief said in a Facebook post that attracted widespread criticism.

PREMIUM TIMES visited local markets in Abuja metropolis where, contrary to Mr. Onanuga’s claims, the cost of foodstuff, especially packaged foods, recorded increase of about 100 per cent in prices since September last year.

A trader at the Wuse international Market, Christy Ani, told PREMIUM TIMES about the increase in price.

“Last year I bought a bag of sugar between N8,000 to N8,500. But this year I have just recently bought a bag at N16,500,” she said.

“If not that I had some customers, loyal to me, I don’t know how I could have convinced myself to go ahead and buy at such rate”.

Another trader who deals in the sale of soft drinks and noodles, James John, said the hike in fuel prices also had drastic effects on his business. 20160909_150852

“Last year, at this time I used to have at least N200,000 or N150,000 from daily sale,” he said.

“But lately if I succeed in making even up to 50,000 a day from my sales then I am lucky.

“The rise in dollar rates and especially the increase in cost of fuel is very bad for our business. Even for locally made drinks, you need to fuel your vehicles to get it distributed. So whether we like it or not the prices must increase,” said Mr. John.

The federal government increased the pump price of fuel by about 70 per cent to N145 earlier this year. This was mainly brought about by the reduction in the naira value as petrol importers had to pay more to access dollars to buy the product.


More sad stories

Another trader, Gloria Madu, who sells soup ingredients at Gosa market, a local stop-shop which usually booms on Fridays around the airport road, said the prices of goods increased by over 100 per cent since last year.

20160909_145918“We used to buy a 25 litre can of local groundnut oil at N7,500. But now the price has gone as high as N15 000.

“A bag of rice which formerly went for N8, 500 now sells at the cost of N19,000.

“All brands of tin tomatoes had over a 100 per cent increment. A carton of Gino tin-tomato was N1,100, last year. During December they added N100 to its price, but later it was brought back to the normal price.

“Since the recent increase however, the price kept going up and the last time I bought the carton, it was N2,950 and there are just 50 in a carton,” said Mrs. Madu.

She said the rate of increase in prices scares some traders from approaching the distributors when they run out of stock.

“Some of the goods will increase today, and before you finish selling tomorrow the price will increase. Salt was N1,000 last year for the full carton. But the last time I bought, which was last month, the price became N1,700.

“We used to buy a carton of Knorr cube for N4,100. But now the price has gone as high as N6,100 last week.

“Bama mayonnaise that soled for N7, 800 last year per carton is now N12,000. Three litres of power oil went from N7,200 per carton last year, to N11,000 this year.

“We sold a single unit of the oil last year for N1,300. But now we sell it at N2,000 due to the increase in price. Also a row of Gino curry powder sachet that sold for N100 last year is now N200, for one row” she added.

Mrs. Madu said the new sale prices have adversely affected business for traders.

“Prices have all gone high and buyers just keep passing by. Imaging that it’s almost Sallah and some of us even dose off in our shops, since low patronage makes the place dull,” she said.

While there have been general increase in prices for food items which are wholly or partially imported, it has been a mixed tale for fruits and vegetables, as well as other local farm produce.


Mixed tale for local farm produce

Mohammed Rabiu, who sells at the Garki ultra-modern market, said some farm produce also witnessed hike in prices.

“A bag of cucumber used to be N3,000; but this year, it went as high as N8,000,” Mr. Rabiu said. “A bag of sweet potatoes that cost N6,000 in the last year, went as high as N9,000 this year.

“Similarly, Irish potatoes had never gone as high as N25,000 per bag. But this year, it went even higher than that.

“Guinea-corn went from N4,000 last year to N12,000 this year. Although we now have the new Guinea-corn which cost N3 000,” he added.

Mr. Rabiu said the price of these products fluctuate, depending on the quantity of farm produce available in the market. 20160909_142825

“You know that for this farm produce, what really matters is how available it is in the market.” he said. “Although some other features could cause a hike in price, but if in the previous year, the farming was relatively better for those products, the price will go down.”

Mr. Rabiu said the price of cabbage did not change, as well as the price of green pepper, within the period examined.

Another trader at the Garki market, Salisu Mohammed, also said the price of tomatoes have dropped after an unprecedented hike in price witnessed late last year.

“That time we used to buy a basket of tomatoes for as high as N10, 000. But today the price has gone down to as low as N3, 500. The story is the same with pepper,” he said.

Nafiu Danmadan a major distributor of yams and other similar farm produce, said the prices of some products remained as they were, while a few others went down.

“The cost of yam remained relatively the same between 2015 September and 2016 this year. The price of yam was sold at N35,000 to N40, 000 for a hundred pieces of big yams from Jalingo where I buy from. There are cheaper ones from Nasarawa and Niger states,” he said.

Despite the general increase in non-farm produce, however, reduction in government revenue and reduced income for businesses has meant salaries of public and private employees have not increased thus reducing the purchasing power of most Nigerians.

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • ???asking question

    Is it three months after many Nigerians have jumped into the river after leaving suicide note

    that Premium Times only just woke up to know that Nigerians are truly hungry and suffering?

    • Santa Domingoes


      This is a bad day for journalism in Nigeria. Bayo Onanuga said, almost insanely that
      he’d only expressed an opinion (that the complaints of hardship in Nigeria’s worsening
      economic recession are mere propaganda). It’s a bad day that a supposed Managing
      (or damaging?) Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) does not understand
      English language.

      What Bayo Onanuga made is a factual assertion provable by
      facts and figures, not a personal opinion dependent on his value judgment. ‘How
      could President Buhari appoint such a creature as MD of Nigeria’s News Agency?’
      immediately occurred to me.

      President Buhari can’t say he means well by appointing the dregs of
      society to rule over their intellectual superiors. The tail must not wag the
      dog. If Nigerians want to save their country they will either have to change
      President Buhari or demand Buhari change his ways of enabling semi-literates as
      public officials on the sole basis of being Muslims. Nigeria has far better
      endowed communicators than such a stuttering Bayo Onanuga.

      • ‘akindees’

        President Muhamadu Buhari is the least literate and least educated president Nigeria’s ever had.

        Anyone now expecting anything less than economic destruction of Nigeria is sleeping or dreaming.

    • Rommel

      Why haven’t you jumped in yourself, what are still waiting for?

  • amazing2012

    What was not mention is how we are heartless and push blame to others. Yes there is recession, yes there is hardship but the prices of market commodities were increase NOT reflecting the true state of recession but personal desire to make more profit.
    When we complaining of hike in fuel pump price, then we ignore the improvement of light. Whereas before we blame fueling electric generators as the main reason for price increase.
    Believe it or not the economy is good ! You are the economy of yourself and your destiny at your hand.
    We complaining and blaming others, but asks yourself, what did you do change, support and develop the economy. Or is it only some people that will do such work for you ?

    • No Comment

      “WITH the current exchange rates, 70 per cent of Nigerians
      live on less than US$1 per day. Too few Nigerians are able to obtain
      enough food to live healthy and productive lives, so it is no surprise
      Nigeria is ranked the 14th most hungry nation out of 119 countries
      and 152nd out of 187 on the 2015 UNDP Human Development Index.

      With a Global Hunger Index (GHI)
      score of 32.8, which is only a marginal improvement over the last decade,
      Nigeria has steadily plunged in its GHI scores since 1990. The severity of
      hunger in the country remains serious as the nation failed to fulfil its
      commitment to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving hunger
      by 2015. Nigerians are rated as “seriously” hungry, by the 2015 GHI because
      of low scores in the four most crucial indicators of undernourishment,
      child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality.”

      ………….VANGUARD newspaper
      [September 9th, 2016]

    • Phil Adiele

      ….somebody else posted something on FACEBOOK…..and said Bayo Onanuga chose a painful way …..
      to commit suicide by coming to say that nonsense in public……that there’s no hardship at all……..
      ……because he had the option of hanging himself with a rope to his ceiling fan in his house…….
      ……….which suicide would have been CHANGED by Lai Muhammed to say PDP has done its worst………..

    • Lolu Bright


  • No Comment

    Despite the biting economic recession in the country, the Federal Government has spent the sum of N5bn on

    the 10-aicraft Presidential Air Fleet in the last 15 months, document obtained exclusively from the Presidency by

    Saturday punch has revealed.

    ………..THE PUNCH

    (September 10th, 2016)

    • Avenger


      Look here, my friend. No big grammar in this one. This is now matter of life and death. If care is not taken the situation in Nigeria today can lead to armed struggle. I am telling you. I work with Clearing and Forwarding
      Agency. Nothing to clear at the Ports for two months now. No salary too. My landlord increased rent last
      week and my children school increased school fees at the same time.

      Then one very useless man called
      BAYO ONANUGA came here two days ago to say there is no hardship in Nigeria, when I have not had
      one minute electricity in my house for up to 8 hours in a week since January and there’s no water
      from my tap and in all of Lagos state since the 3rd of April.

      Two fighting is not an offence. If I see that BAYO ONANUGA in my area I will beat him up. I am saying it now.
      I will blow his gorimapa bald head with a heavy punch and blood will come out. No police can arrest anybody
      for two fighting. Let him not come anywhere near my area. Even if I see him on the road anywhere I will slap
      the hell out of him, As far as I am concerned only a thief can say that there is no hardship in Nigeria.

      I am very justified as a good citizen of Nigeria to beat up a thief.

      • okeyrika

        Those whom BUHARI wants to make mad he lets them steal public funds to then talk nonsense!

  • Rommel

    The hike in price is mainly due to greed from the mentally lazy Nigerians whose only means of livelihood is buying and selling of manufactured goods most of which is imported without any cerebral input from them as they keep multiplying like insects,how did Nigeria hit such population within a short period? that has baffled all reasonable people in the world,are Nigerian women baby factories? what were they planning to feed the mouths with? imported foods? animals

    • Shehu Monguno

      Mixed tale for local farm produce
      Mohammed Rabiu, who sells at the Garki ultra-modern market, said some farm produce also witnessed hike in prices.
      “A bag of cucumber used to be N3,000; but this year, it went as high as N8,000,” Mr. Rabiu said. “A bag of sweet potatoes that cost N6,000 in the last year, went as high as N9,000 this year.

      • Rommel

        Don’t pick and choose,that would be intellectual dishonesty—
        “Guinea-corn went from N4,000 last year to N12,000 this year. Although we now have the new Guinea-corn which cost N3 000,”

        • Shehu Monguno

          Intellectual dishonesty? NO. We were all commenting on the article in question and no where did the article mention guinea corn whose price we cannot independently verify. I lifted from the article. If it is okay to use guinea corn as an example, it has now become intellectual dishonesty for me to quote from the article in question

          • Rommel

            You see now what I mean? my response to you was also lifted from the same story,go through the story again and see if you will not see where I lifted from,this is what happens to people who are quick to jump into conclusions

    • Du Covenant

      I couldn’t agree with you more. There are certain people in Nigeria who are so greedy that they are just determined to sabotage the country with their pathological obsession with the USD. These scum of the earth cease at every opportunity to use the ‘black market’ rate for everything even if all has been produced in Nigeria. When you go after these idiots they play the same old card. I don’t know when we as a country will tackle this menace once and for all?.


    Buhari and his wickedly insensitive crew of misfits are simply starving Nigerians to death, the question now is how many thousands or millions will die before Nigerians wake up from their slumber and kick them out.

    • ???




    • Dafe Ononame

      I want to thank Premium Times for writing this news on the economic condition in Nigeria.
      We are suffering in Nigeria too much. We voted against Goodluck Jonathan so that we
      can have a better life but what we got is worse than Goodluck Jonathan. To Nigerians,
      President Buhari can be compared to armaggaedon or end times where people are
      now selling their children to buy food. Nigerians are ashamed to come out and riot
      because they made too much mouth before the election that Buhari will do magic.
      Nigerians said Buhari will turn one Naira to one dollar but see what has happened.
      It is 420 Naira to one dollar today. How can Nigerians pay school fees now?
      The MD of News Agency – Bayo Onanuga – now said there is no hardship!

    • Foreign News Reel

      “Muhamadu Buhari is Nigeria’s problem, not its solution. Muhammadu Buhari writes of building
      an economic bridge to Nigeria’s future. It is hard to see how his administration’s inflexibility,
      lack of vision and reactive approach, will achieve this. Buhari notes that building trust
      is a priority for Nigeria. But an anti-corruption drive that is selective and focused on
      senior members of the opposition party, creates deep political divisions.
      Meanwhile, members of Buhari’s own cabinet, accused of large-scale
      corruption, walk free.”

      ……………….Pete Hoekstra

      (U.S Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman)

      [June 20th, 2016]

      • Baddy

        @tawandaincommunicado:disqus : There is no light at the end of the tunnel for Nigeria under President Buhari. The rest of the world has given up. President Buhari has no ideas to offer and doesn’t understand the issues because of poorly limited education. Nigerians are bound to suffer more than they are suffering now because there’s really no president in Nigeria.

        • Layo

          There is no tunnel and there is no light either. The politicians don’t even feel what Nigerians are going through. They have free funds.

      • Pointsblank2000

        Many people are now saying that Muhamadu Buhari is the greatest mistake Nigerian voters ever made.

        If that is the case, then, what delays starting a constitutional impeachment process for God’s sake?

        If Nigerians are crying in pains that President Buhari is a let-down before God and Man, change him now!

        • Investigator 2016



    • Baddy Boyd


      There is no light at the end of the tunnel for Nigeria under President Buhari. The rest of the world has given up.
      President Buhari has no ideas to offer and doesn’t understand the issues because of poorly limited education.
      Nigerians are bound to suffer more than they are suffering now because there is really no president in Nigeria.
      There is just a figure-head called Muhamadu Buhari who seems not to know his left hand from his right hand.

    • Omodele Mathews



  • Mrs. Mosun T. Erinle

    Premium Times Editor,

    I want President Muhamadu Buhari
    to wake up. He has been too slow. Some people are now saying
    it is because Buhari is too confused and he doesn’t know what to do.
    Nigerians cannot cope with the general prices of foodstuff and merchandise
    reported by PREMIUM TIMES with salary at the same level as when Naira was
    190 to one dollar, whereas Naira is now 420 to one dollar.

    President Buhari will
    make people hate him the way he is going. Some Nigerians are already committing
    suicide. Some are selling their children for money to feed. Many others are escaping
    through the windows of hospital without getting full treatment for lack of money.
    In fact a lot of students in private secondary school could drop out this year.

    School fees have just been
    increased along with boarding fees because President Buhari increased the
    price of petrol, which increased the price of transportation of food items to
    the cities. This is very bad. President Buhari has disgraced all of us who
    voted for him. We now see him as just another wicked SANI ABACHA.

  • Questioner007