Home » Hardship: Oyo traders groan over low patronage as goods prices soar (video)

Hardship: Oyo traders groan over low patronage as goods prices soar (video)

by Akeem Adeyemi
Hardship: Oyo traders groan over low patronage as goods prices soar

In the face of mounting pressures, traders in Ajegunle and Sabo Market Oyo echo a resounding call for government intervention to address the root causes of economic distress that cause low patronage as customers hesitate to buy goods at inflated prices.

They highlighted the drastic increase in the cost of farm products like Garri, Maize Yam, etc, a staple food item that has further strained their businesses. Urges the Government to safeguard the livelihoods of those reliant on trade.

In Ajegunle Market, Oyo town, the bustling atmosphere of trading is overshadowed by the somber reality of economic hardship.

Traders like Mrs. Sofiyat Oloyin, a trader at Ajegunle market in Oyo find herself grappling with dwindling sales as customers, burdened by soaring prices, retreat from the marketplace. “The prices of goods that keep rising every day, make it hard for us to sell anything,”

Mrs. Oloyin lamented, highlighting the challenging conditions faced by traders. She opened up about the difficulties she faced due to the current economic situation and how the hardships have driven customers away, making it challenging for her to sell goods and make a profit. She stated, “The skyrocketing prices of goods make it difficult for us to sell, let alone make a profit from the business.”

“Today is Ajegunle market day, you can see how dry it is as if it is an ordinary day. People do not come to the market because there is no money, the few people that come are just complaining about the price and hardly buy things.

“This is 12 noon and I have been in the market since 7 am yet I have not sold any goods, only one customer priced yam from me and she did not buy. If it was before this time I would be counting nothing less than 60,000 nairas, here I am, I haven’t earned up to 2,000.

“I didn’t add too much profit to my goods to make it affordable, yet people said it is expensive.

“Meanwhile, every Trader knows that when goods are expensive from wholesalers, retailers will not be able to make a profit in such a business.

Hardship: Oyo traders groan over low patronage as goods prices soar

Another businessman in Ajegunle market Oyo, Baba Ruka, the Vice Chairman of the Ajegunle Yam Traders association, also echoed Mrs. Oloyin’s sentiments, emphasizing how the hardship is affecting market activities. He highlighted the significant increase in the prices of essential commodities like yam, making it challenging for traders to make sales.

He emphasized the stark decline in market activity. The once vibrant marketplace now wears a desolate facade, with few customers venturing to make purchases. Baba Ruka drew attention to the exorbitant prices of staple foods like yam, which have surged beyond affordability, leaving traders struggling to make ends meet.

“There are no sales in the market. Imagine ‘Ewura’ Yam that we usually bought at the rate of N35,000 from the farm is now 1 million plus and the original Yam (isu gidi)  is sold at the rate of 1.7 million now, how are we to sell it to retailers not to talk of the customers that would buy it from the retails.

“People think it is only dollars that directly determine the price of goods in Nigeria but it is not.

“CFA Is also gaining Strength against neira, Making it difficult to buy goods from the Bennie Republic. Before now CFA was 1,120 naira, but now 1,000 CFA is 2,800 naira. Which makes it difficult for people to go and buy foodstuff like Grains, yam flour, and cassava flour, because it will be too expensive by the time we add transport fears to it.”


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The impact of the economic downturn is not limited to local markets. Mr. Muideen Oyero, another trader, shared how the cost of goods from neighboring countries, particularly the Benin Republic, has surged due to the weakening of the Naira against the CFA. He explained how this increase in prices has made it unaffordable for traders to import goods, affecting their businesses negatively.

Mr Muideen Oyero said ‘Elubo’ was 70,000 to 80,000 naira as of last year, But it is now 150,000 per bag.

However, he also said after buying the expensive Goods From Bennie Republic, their major challenge was the amount of money that would be used to transport it to Nigeria.

According to him, “Last year, to transport goods from Kasuala in Benin Republic cost 700,000 naira, but now it is 1.5 million naira. If you want to follow ilara roots to avoid customs issues, You will be paying 2.2 million nairas. By the time you calculate the expenses together and put it on the market, you will realize there is no way You can sell the market at a normal price not to talk of adding profit because it would be too expensive.

Hardship: Oyo traders groan over low patronage as goods prices soar

Furthermore, Mr. Adejari Emmanuel, chairman of IMPUTA Sabo branch, underscored the multifaceted challenges facing traders and identified insecurity as a major factor contributing to food scarcity and the depreciation of the Naira.


Mr. Emmanuel identifies insecurity as one of the major causes of the skyrocketed price of goods that take the larger percentage in the hardship facing the country.

According to him, the effect of the herdsmen, Bandits killing and kidnapping people in the Northern part of the country makes farmers run away from the farm to protect their lives. “Before the economic downtown, All suppliers in the southwest always depended on the maize grown in the North, because the little one that is cultivated in the Southern is not sufficient for the South not to talk of selling out of it.

“Northern Farmers mostly supply the farm products used by the South, because of their ability to cultivate more than what they can consume in the North and this makes business easy and profitable for suppliers in the Southern part of Nigeria.

“Not until recently, the issue of insecurity in the North chased them away from farms because of the fear of being kidnapped or slaughtered like a goat by Bandits or herdsmen.

“Inability to cultivate Farmland makes it difficult to have enough food. The northerners would even be happy if Southern Nigerians could supply food items to them.


The Chairman also emphasizes the naira’s weakness against CFA as a siege to alternative food items that usually come from neighboring countries.

He elucidated that “Everything has its season when it is not the harvest season of Northern Nigeria to supply foodstuffs to South, we usually travel down to the Benin Republic to import maize, soybeans, yam flour, etc. But what makes it difficult to buy goods from the Benin Republic now is because of the Naira’s weaknesses.

“1,000 CFA that we used to change at the rate of #1,120 is now 2,800 Naira and this makes goods from that side to be more expensive than affordability.

“Imagine using the same amount of money that you used to buy three trucks of goods last year to buy just one ordinary truck this year as a result of the current economy, is that a business?

Hardship: Oyo traders groan over low patronage as goods prices soar

“Maize that we usually bought at the rate of 18,000 Naira 880,000 Naira per bag from the market before adding transport expenses to it. Now it is hard to make half of the profit we used to make in one truck of maize in three trucks nowadays, and that’s for those who even have enough capital to do that kind of business.

“The cost of petrol is also affecting the goods price because from Ibaruba land that truck used to collect 50-60,000 naira some years back is now 350,000 Naira this year, all because of the amount of diesel and we would calculate it on this same market we bought at the high rate.

“We the suppliers don’t like it when goods are too expensive because the little money we have will not be enough to do business again and there won’t be profit when goods are expensive from the producer/farm.

When the economy was good we used 300,000 to load a full trailer (thirty tons) of maize and now an ordinary Mazda Bus is 3 million naira, 30 tons is not below 15 million naira now, and where is the money?


Mr. Emmanuel underlined the need for government intervention to address these challenges and support farmers in cultivating more land across the country.

“The government should provide additional security to enable farmers in the North and other parts of the country to have the courage to go back to farm.

“If farmers’ security is guaranteed they will cultivate land and food will be sufficient, definitely it would be cheaper when it is sufficient.

“The government should empower farmers with adequate instruments and Resources that make farming easy and enable them to cultivate more land.

“The chemicals, and fertilizers used by farmers are now more expensive than before, Tractors were also expensive. Before tractors usually cultivate hectares of land at the rate of 800 Naira, last year it was 25,000 Naira and their excuse was that the tractor is expensive, that they bought it at the rate of 28 million nairas to 30 million Naira plus the price of fuel. so we cannot blame them because they will have to make the money they used to buy the tractor.

“Some years ago there used to be a tractor in each Local Government, farmers from each LG used to book it to work on their farm at a low cost. but there is nothing like that again and the government needs to revisit that.

“The government should also provide fertilizers for them at the lowest price. Imagine that last year a bag of fertilizer was sold at the rate of 24,000 naira. Nobody knows how much it is going to cost this year.

Hardship: Oyo traders groan over low patronage as goods prices soar

However, Mrs Baliqees a garri seller at Sabo Market also lamented the higher cost of goods as she said it is the reason they are having law patronage as customers hardly patronize them.

She said the sack of garri that was sold for 20,000 naira last year is now 50,000 naira because of the economic downturn.

Meanwhile, As traders grapple with these economic hardships, they call for urgent government intervention to stabilize prices, improve security, and support farming activities to ensure food security and economic stability in the region.

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