High prices dampen Nigerians’ Christmas celebrations

The usual festive boom in yuletide products and services was notably absent in most markets due to unprecedented low sales, impacting traders’ hopes. The decline in purchasing power, attributed to rising prices of goods and services since June, particularly following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration reforms, including the removal of fuel subsidies and unification of the exchange market, contributed to the challenges.

This led to a decline in patronage for items such as rice, gift hampers, cooking oil, seasoning, fish, and meat, with consumers opting for cheaper alternatives and reducing volumes. For instance, the average price of 50kg of local rice rose by over 50% compared to the previous year. Hampers also saw reduced sales, with shoppers focusing more on staple foods than complimentary items.

The market survey further revealed significant increases in the prices of tomatoes, pepper, cooking oil, and seasonings. Vegetable oil and seasoning prices increased by 50% and 220%, respectively, as of December 20, 2023, compared to the same period in the previous year. Consumers preferred more affordable brands amid economic challenges.

Additionally, the market witnessed a slump in Christmas decoration ornament and knock-out sales, attributed to high prices and regulatory restrictions. Fish and meat prices doubled compared to the previous year, affecting sales and forcing consumers to make adjustments in their purchasing habits. The overall economic challenges, including high transportation costs and fuel prices, contributed to the current market trends.

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