By Zahraddeen Yakubu Shuaibu
… We won’t hike price unless – marketers
As the holy month of Ramadan enters second day, people in Kano state are trooping to the major markets selling food commodities, juice and other valuables needed in the month for shopping amidst scarcity of cash which hit the state owing to the new Naira redesign policy.
Daily Focus gathered that both retailers selling goods in supermarkets, shopping malls, and those traders in metropolitan areas have been patronizing the major markets, thereby causing traffic and congestion within the markets and its surroundings.
The markets that witnessed this boom are the singer commodity market, Sabongari market, Dawanau grains markets and vegetables and spices markets in the state metropolis.
When Daily Focus reporter went round two of the markets (Singer and Sabongari), they were found busy selling different goods with customers including women making different patronage. While some pay their money in cash, the majority are paying via POS or transfer, an incident that adds to the difficulties of the process.
Our reporter gathered from some of the markets that some commodities are sold at different prices, depending on the kind of payment. For people with cash, their price is cheaper and easier to buy and leave. While those that will pay via bank or transfer experienced a hike in the price and that they stay longer before leaving the market.
Speaking to Daily Focus, Nuhu Danliti, one of the dealers in Singer market said the rush for shopping is not purely for Ramadan but also for the break of gubernatorial elections in the state.
“Unlike last year’s Ramadan this one has come with new changes, top of which is the cash crunch. People don’t have cash and the difficulties have almost multiplied now. Although there is not much hike, some commodities that are badly needed in this period have gone high. Like sugar, yesterday we didn’t even have it in the market. But today it is sold at N34, 000 unlike last when it was N31, 000,” he said.
He added that they will not hike the price of anything unless the big dealers do so, adding that every year it is the big dealers that force them to add money as they also add for them.
Another dealer who sells tea leaves, spices and concentrated juices, Yusufa Abdullahi said “Compared to last year people are not coming. But we thank God as the market has witnessed rapid sales between yesterday and today. For the hike in price, everything has almost doubled compared to last year. What we were selling for N6, 000 is now N12, 500. We have no option than to sell like this as we too are buying expensive.”
A woman who went to Sabongari market for shopping, Jamila Idris said she has to spend over six hours to buy goods of not more than N50, 000 because of the delay in transfer.
“Things have changed so early like this. Last year I came with cash and I bought double of what I buy now. People have no money, and the cash scarcity is adding to the difficulties. It is what delayed me here. This time around we will observe fasting just the way we found ourselves, but people are in a difficult situation,” she lamented.