Ibadan – As the countdown to the Eid-el-fitr celebration begins, traders in Ibadan, the state capital, have continued to lament poor patronage by customers.
Investigations indicated that the prices of many food items had remained stable inspite of the imminent celebration to mark the end of the Ramadan fast.
At the popular Bodija Market on Friday in Ibadan, prices of the different brands of rice were stable at the pre-Ramadan rates.
A trader, Mrs Sadia Adeleke, said that the average price of a bag of rice was still N9, 000, the rate before the Ramadan.
Adeleke said the prices of different grains in the market were also the same, lamenting that this was a different experience from that of last year.
She said that many customers complained of paucity of funds due to non payment of salaries to workers.
Adeleke called on government and other employers to ensure the payment of salaries before the celebration.
“We know that when workers are paid their salaries, the turn out of customers would be more than this, but you can see that every where is dry,’’ she said.
But Mr Adeyemi Ogundina, who sells chicken, said there had been an increase in patronage since the start of the Ramadan.
Ogundina said that before the Ramadan, a broiler was sold for N1, 000, adding that it now sells for N1, 500.
He said cockerel that was sold for N2,000 was now N2,500 while old layers which was sold for N700 was now N1,000.
Ogundina, who attributed the development to the use of chicken to prepare sauce during the Ramadan, however, admitted that patronage was still low this year compared to the corresponding period last year.
Yam flour also witnessed an increase in price inspite of the low patronage at the Bodija market in Ibadan.
Traders at the market lamented the poor patronage, attributing it to the little money in circulation.
A trader, Madam Omowunmi Alebiosu, said a big bag of yam flour that was sold for N5,000 now sells for N7,000 per bag while the medium equivalent, formerly sold for N2,500, now cost N3,500.
Aleibiosu said the high price of yam flour was due to the current rainy season because of the intricacy involved in processing the food item.
“ Processing yam flour has to do with the sun. The sun is used to dry either the cassava or yam used for the flour.
“ The cassava or yam would be grinded to produce the flour. But as you can see, the weather has not been favourable, ” she said.(NAN)
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Eid-el-fitr: Traders lament poor patronage