Four days to Easter celebration, prices of some food items especially rice have remained stable in some major markets in Enugu State, newsmen report.
Newsmen who monitored some markets report that price of 50kg of foreign rice sells at between N17,500 and N18, 500 depending on the brand while 25kg bag sells at N8,800 and N9,500.
However, a 50kg bag of de-stoned local rice cost between N11,000 and N11,800 while the 25kg cost between N5,500 and N6,000.
A rice dealer at the Ogbete Main Market, Chief Alex Udeh said that the patronage had not been impressive because civil servants had not received their salary.
Udeh expressed the hope that there would be an improvement during the Easter celebration.
“This is Easter period and as you know, most ceremonies are fixed this period. So I believe that by Friday, patronage will increase.
The dealer said that most buyers preferred foreign rice to local rice for festivities because of its durability.
Another rice seller, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa said that price of foreign rice would soon increase due to activities of the Nigeria Customs Service whom he said, had been preventing its importation to the country.
Okenwa said that a lot needed to be done to improve local rice to meet foreign standard.
Meanwhile, prices of tomatoes have increased as a big basket is sold at between N7,000 and N10,000 as against N3,000 and N5,000 sold in January.
A tomato seller at Akwata Market, Miss Anthonia Chukwu attributed the increase to the forthcoming farming season.
She said that by April, the specie of tomato called UTC and produced in Jos, Plateau would no longer be in the market due to the farming season.
She also said that the Jos specie was not grown during the rainy season.
Chukwu said that the specie from Gboko in Benue State would be available in the market noting that the UTC was a better quality because it could be preserved.
Also, price of fresh pepper has also increased by 100 percent as a small painter container now sells at N1,200 as against N600 sold in January.
A pepper seller, Miss Ijeoma Agu said that she bought a bag of pepper at N16,000 as against N7,000 and N8,000 sold in January.
She said that it would be worse from April as many people would be busy in the farms.