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Ramadan adding to Nigerian price woes?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 01:45

As Muslims around the world continue to mark the holy month of Ramadan, Nigerians are complaining at rising food prices. Despite roaring growth in recent years, life in Africa's largest economy continues to be a struggle for many who still live on less than a dollar a day. David Pollard reports.

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Market day in Lagos. Popular with locals out shopping for plentiful supplies of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. But not so much for its prices. In a country which has seen surging growth in recent years, most Nigerians live on less than a dollar a day. Inflation hit a rate of eight percent in May. That means day-to-day living is getting even harder. SOUNDBITE (English) GRACE IDOWU, LAGOS RESIDENT, SAYING: "Now, everything now is expensive, even the meat that we are buying like 1000 naira before, if you want to buy it now it's like 1,500 or 2,000 now. Even rice, beans everything is ... even kerosene, everything now is very expensive." Many in Lagos are celebrating Ramadan. Nigeria has 170 million people - roughly split between Muslims and Christians - giving it the largest population of Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa. The holy month is about fasting during the day. But feasting afterwards - the Iftar or evening meal a time for welcoming guests with traditional cuisine. Here at Lagos Central Mosque, Bolaji Daranijo, Chairman of the Executive Committee, says that too puts pressure on prices. SOUNDBITE (English) BOLAJI DARANIJO, CHAIRMAN, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF LAGOS CENTRAL MOSQUE, SAYING: "Nowadays, in the Ramadan time like this you get a lot of fruits selling and a lot of people have to buy fruits to be able to break their fast so demand and supply will cause the rising of these type of things." Others though point out that inflation has seen on a steady upward march since the start of the year, well before Ramadan. Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy - but rising consumer prices could mean its gaping inequalities may yet get worse for many.

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Ramadan adding to Nigerian price woes?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 01:45