Ahead of the Christmas celebration, residents of Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria lament over the hike in cost of food items and other commodities needed to make the occasion a memorable one.
While some residents complained that prices of essential commodities have gone up, traders on the other hand groan over low patronage.
The Sheikh Gumi market in the state capital, according to them, was unusually dry unlike other festive seasons; a situation traders attribute to the current economic recession in the country.
Residents lamented over the high cost of rice, which has moved from about 9,000 Naira to nothing less than 17,500. They equally complained that a live chicken now goes for about 4,000 Naira as against prices from last year’s Christmas.
They believe that the ban on importation of rice is the reason for the hike in prices and therefore, called on the government to relax the ban on rice and other essential commodities in order to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.
In November, Ekiti state monarchs under the Council of Traditional Rulers, in conjunction with Market Women Association of Nigeria ensured the reduction in prices.
Speaking to Channels Television, some residents expressed that they are left with no choice than to celebrate the yuletide in ‘low key’, due to lack of money and high cost of goods in the market.
Although some have complained bitterly about the situation, many others still believe that celebrating Christmas to herald the birth of Jesus Christ is a must, regardless of the economic situation.