Hardship: Protest Erupts In Kogi State Over High Cost of Food

by J.J Olawuyi

On Wednesday, merchants in Kogi State took to the streets to express their frustration over the rising prices of basic goods throughout the region.

The protest, comprising both male and female vendors, took place in Lokoja, the state’s capital, where they voiced their concerns over the escalating costs of food items, which has negatively impacted customer turnout.

A survey within the marketplace revealed that numerous vendors have ceased operations as the inflated prices deter consumers from making purchases.

A merchant named Mrs. Ladi, who specializes in selling rice and beans, commented on the drastic hike in prices affecting her trading capital due to diminished sales.

She explained her struggle to earn profits, noting, “A mudu of rice previously sold for N800 now sells for N1,700, as the price of a bag of rice has surged from N35,000 to N65,000. Consequently, we’re unable to realize any profit.

“That’s why we’re appealing to the government for assistance by subsidizing locally produced goods. The decline in sales has left us exasperated,” she expressed.

Another vendor voiced her disappointment, stating that despite traders’ willingness to sacrifice some profit, the lack of patronage remains disheartening.

“We hope our hard work doesn’t prove futile by the end of our trading day, given the absence of tangible rewards or profits from our efforts,” she mentioned.

Mrs. Laruba, a palm oil seller, shared her ordeal of traveling to Kogi East for her stock, only to find the venture unprofitable.

She noted the challenge of balancing expenses against sales, often leaving customers feeling overcharged.

Mrs. Adah, who deals in vegetables, called on the Federal Government to tackle the sharp rise in food prices.

“Everything from pepper to rice and beans has seen price increases. The situation is dire, and the government’s lack of intervention isn’t helping. We urge the government to help us by working to lower food prices. Our earnings are barely enough to sustain us, as the price hike has nearly wiped out our profits,” she stated.

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