Traders in Calabar blame high cost of food items on bad roads

A portion of the Ikom-Obudu Road begging for attention.

A portion of the Ikom-Obudu Road begging for attention.

Some dealers in food items in Calabar, have attributed the rising cost of some commodities in the city to poor road network in the state.

They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the Watt Market in Calabar on Sunday.

A yam dealer, Mr Innocent Uwa, said the prices of yams increased because of the high cost of transporting the product from the source to the city.

“We sometimes find it difficult to get trucks to bring our goods to Calabar; drivers often refuse to come to Calabar citing bad roads as reasons,” Uwa said.

Mrs Angela Eteng, a plantain dealer, said the cost of conveying the product to Calabar from Biase had become very expensive.

Eteng told NAN that only few transporters now accept going to Biase to carry plantains to the city because of the nature of the roads.

“Even when they accept to go to Biase, they refuse to follow us to the bush where we buy the commodity cheap because of the state of the roads.

“It is worse now that the rains are heavy; as you can see, everyday rain falls and that makes the matter worse,” she said.

A resident, Mr Uwem Johnson, however, said that the increase in prices was not new.

“The price increase is not unexpected in Calabar especially when you witness consistent rainfalls.

“We turn to alternatives, but that does not mean that we are happy over poor roads network in the state, especially the federal roads,” he said.

NAN investigation shows that an average size of yam sold for N400 early July, now sells for N500, while a big tuber earlier sold for N700 now goes for N,1000.

The price of a basin of garri has moved up to N4,500 from N4000 it sold last month, while a bunch of plantain that was sold for N2,000 last month, now goes for N2,500.

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