Prices of tomato and other vegetables had dropped considerably in some major markets in Lagos on Monday — one week to Christmas — a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) survey revealed.
The survey was conducted at Mile 12 and Oyingbo markets.
NAN reports that a 40 kilogramme(kg) basket of tomato, which cost between N11,000 and N12,000 in November, cost between N8,000 and N10,000 on Monday, depending on bargaining power.
Also, a jute bag of onions dropped from N32,000 to N30,000, while a 50kg basket of bell pepper (Tatashe) and chilli pepper (shombo) both cost N6,000.
Mr Mazu Umaru, Vice Chairman, Tomatoes Sellers Association, Oyingbo Market, attributed the drop in prices to the produce being in season.
Umaru said that being perishable items, customers had not started purchasing for fear of rot, putting market activities at a usual pace.
He, however, enjoined a follow up few days to the Christmas celebration, saying that was the best time to get the true position of things.
“People are still relaxed as it is. But few days to Christmas, if you check back, you will easily tell that the difference is clear and we are up to the task with supplying the needs.
“More so, tomatoes, pepper and the rest are in season so the yield is okay and the prices reasonable.’’
Also, a decrease of N1,000 and N2,000 were recorded in the sales of palm and groundnut oil respectively.
Twenty-five litres of groundnut oil sold for N13,000 while 25 litres of palm oil cost N11,000 against N15,000 and N12,000 respectively recorded last month.
An oil seller, who simply referred to herself as Iya Shina, could not state any reason for the reduction, saying that they sold based on whatever price they got it.
However, same cannot be said for rice, as almost N3,000 increase in the price of 50kg bag of Nigerian rice was recorded ahead of the Yuletide.
A 50kg bag of Nigerian rice; some of which are; Tomato Arrors rice, Jemeela, Golden parboil, Abaka Gold, Pure Nigeria cost between N17,000 and N21,000 against the previous N15,000 and N18,500.
Some rice sellers at Oyingbo market attributed the increase to the demand of the festive season.
They said that the prices began to climb on Friday and was expected to soar as the Yuletide approached.
Speaking about how poultry products were faring in the markets, Mr Godwin Egbebe, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PANLAG), said the border closure meant more sales for indigenous poultry farmers.
Egbebe said that old layers cost N2,000, Cockrels go for N3,000, Broilers, depending on size, cost between N2,500 and N4,000, and a well-sized Turkey was going for N15,000.
“The prices are stable and have not changed, following the border closure.
“Though, an increase in patronage has not been recorded, it is expected this season and this means well for our business and the nation at large,’’ he said.