Following the recent closure of Nigeria’s land borders, the prices of commodities, most especially the popular Abakaliki rice have gone up.
Before now, a bushel of rice was sold for N5000 for 306, while the longer grain of 306 known as Cp was sold between N5, 300-N5, 500. A higher grade of mas was sold between N6000-N6500.
But at present, 306 is between N6, 500-N7,000 going by 1 bushel which is 22.2kg, while mas is now sold between N8, 000-N8,500 depending on the quality.
Worst still, the customers are yet adapt to the newly introduced scale and weight measurement, because instead of buying in bushel, they now buy in kg which is more expensive.
As a result, some settle for the 22.2kg which is the measurement for 1 bushel.
Speaking with some of the sellers, they said that the customers are not finding it easy to buy in kg because of the prices.
“It’s a new thing to our customers, so sometimes when you tell them about 25kg they will say please give me the normal bushel that is the one I came with the money. Because that of 25kg, the money is higher, so those that don’t have money for 25kg will like to go for the 22.5kg”.
“306, is sold according to the grade, but on the average, its N6, 500 based on 22.5kg not 25kg. When we buy a bag, we know how many bushels it contains; we now divide it by the number of kg. So N6, 500 divided by 22.5kg will give us N288.00. So if we want to get the price for 25kg, it’s going to be N288.00 multiply by 25, which is about N7, 200,’’ according to Mrs. Martina, a miller.
One of the buyers, Emeka Arinze, noted: “I came to buy rice and they told me that the trend now is that they sell by kg no longer bushel and it is higher. So instead of selling 22.5kg, which is the normal bushel, they now sell 25kg. But if it is 22.5kg, I used to buy it N5000 or N5, 500, but now, I bought it N7, 000”.
Asked how he feels about the new development, he said; “last time I came it was much cheaper, but now the rice is very costly. I prefer the bushel to the scale measurement’’.
Another seller, Mrs. Anioke Uzoamaka, said the reason for the rise in prices was because the Nigeria’s land borders are closed. She said that they are having so many customers and because of that the demand is too high.
She noted that they sell based on the look of the rice, but that on the average, 306 is between N6, 500-N7, 000.
Recall that the federal government announced the closure of Nigeria’s land borders and has insisted that it must remain closed.