Residents of Kano metropolis on Thursday besieged markets to buy essential food items, ahead of the COVID-19 total lockdown in the state.
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje had on April 14 orderd total lock down of the state for one week, starting from 10 p.m on Thursday, to stem the spread of the virus.
Newsmen reports that residents were in a frenzy rush to the markets, supermarkets and shopping malls to make last minute shopping that would see them through the one-week lockdown.
A NAN correspondent who visited Yankaba, Singa and Sabon-markets, reports that items such as onions, garri, rice, beans, fruits and vegetables suddenly became out of the reach for most people as demand for them pushed prices higher.
At Singa Market, a bag of Sugar, which was formerly sold at N14,500 was sold between N15,500 and N16,000, while a bag of flour was sold at N10,500 against the previous price of N 9,500.
At Yankaba perishable items market, a measure of onions jumped from N200 to N400, while a basket of tomatoes also jumped from N 3, 500 to N7,000.
Similarly, a bag of pepper, sold for N7,000 before the announcement, increased to about N10,000 while a tuber of yam, which sold for N 800, jumped to N1,200 and N1,400, depending on the quality and size.
A package of sachet water popularly called pure water also had its price increased from N80 to N120 among others.
Newsmen also observed that foodstuffs like rice, beans, garri, cooking oil, meat, chicken and fish also witnessed astronomical rise in price
A resident, Mr Ali Sabo, said it was unfortunate that the traders were inhuman to buyers.
He called on the government to regulate the prices of goods as the traders were in the habit of increasing prices of goods at will.
Malam Dauda Lado, who commended the government for the lockdown, also decried the hike, saying it was unreasonable for foodstuff sellers to increase the cost of food items just because of the lockdown.
Malam Shehu Bello, a trader at Yankaba Market, said the hike was not their fault, but from the wholesalers where he bought the products.
“Customers are just complaining without knowing what we went through to get the commodities for them.
“In spite of the reduction in price of petrol, transportation cost had increased and we need to add it to our goods; no trader would want to sell at a loss,” he said.