Some residents in Sokoto State say the sudden increase in the prices of foodstuffs and other essential commodities may negatively affect the coming Christmas celebration.
A cross-section of the residents, who spoke with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto on Friday, complained that the situation was compounded by the prevailing cash crunch in the country.
They however, attributed the situation to the economic challenges facing the country.
A resident, Raymond Olayi of Catholic Church of Christ, Sokoto said that many people might not be able celebrate Christmas this year due to the current economic situation.
He, nonetheless, advised the Christian faithful to trust in God and believe that the grace of God was sufficient for them.
Olayi urged Christians to take advantage of the festive period to pray for God’s intervention on the economic challenges facing the country.
Mrs Ann Jacobs, a school teacher, said that the high prices of food items would affect the coming festival, unless something urgent was done to address it.
She also said that the prevailing economic situation had compelled her to buy cheaper, low-quality clothing for her children “because I cannot not afford to buy `ready-made’ wears for my kids due to high prices’’.
A hair-dresser, Mrs Tope Abogunrin, recalled that two weeks before Christmas last year, customers thronged her salon for their hairdo, adding, however, customer patronage was abysmally low this year.
She attributed the situation to the paucity of funds and the economic situation in the country.
“The economic situation is really affecting my business. I cannot afford to buy some of my needs and customers are also complaining that my cosmetics are expensive because they cannot afford them. I have to sell the products at cost prices just to make sales; I have to get my money back by selling the items at giveaway prices,’’ she added.
Alhaji Aminu Maigoro, a shopper at the Kasuwan Daji Market, Sokoto, told NAN that he had come to buy some foodstuffs for his household but the prices were exorbitant.
“When compared to last week when I came to the market, the price difference now is between 70 and 100 per cent. The most painful thing is that whenever a festive period is approaching, marketers impulsively adjust prices of foods and other commodities upwards,’’ he said.
Maigoro called on the state government to put in price regulation mechanisms in place to control and monitor the prices of goods and services.