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Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices - Business - Nairaland

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Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Pukkah: 3:50pm On Jan 24, 2012
Some consumers across the states have urged the Federal Government to establish a price regulatory agency to regulate the prices of food items in view of the new petrol price regime of N97 per litre.

They made the plea in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday.

In Lagos, the respondents said in spite of the reduction of petrol pump price from N141 to N97 per litre, it had not reflected on the prices of food items and other essential consumer goods.

A consumer, Mr. Lukman Raji, said in spite of the reduction in petrol price, sachet water was still being sold at N10 as against the N5 before the removal of petrol subsidy.

“I urge the government to establish a price regulatory agency that will check the activities of some selfish traders,’’ Raji said.

He urged the producers of sachet water to reduce the price in the interest of the masses.

Another consumer, Mrs. Funke Abiola, told NAN that she was not comfortable with the increase in the prices of recharge cards.

She observed that the prices had increased by between N10 and N20 on some vouchers.

Another respondent, Mr. Gabriel Akinola, said, “But days after the reduction of petrol price to N97 per litre, a gallon of groundnut oil and palm oil still remain at the old prices of N1,400 and N1,200 respectively before the strike.

“Nigerians have yet to see the gains of the strike on the prices of food items such as rice, garri, beans, turkey, among others.”

A survey by NAN in Katsina, Funtua, Malumfashi, Daura and Mai’adua Charanchi markets in Katsina State, showed that the prices of foodstuffs had increased slightly in the past two weeks due to a hike in transport fares.

Commodities most affected include maize, guinea corn, millet and beans.

A bag of maize, which hitherto cost N5,500, is selling at N6,000, while a bag of guinea corn goes for N6,000 as against its former price of N5,400.

Also, a bag of millet, which was sold at N5,500 now costs N6,600 while a bag of beans sold at N10,000 two weeks ago now costs between N11,000, and N11,200,depending on the quality and variety.

A grains seller in the state, Mallam Muhammadu Sahalu, told NAN that the hike in transport fare was responsible for the increase.

Sahalu also said that prices of foodstuffs virtually increased daily in spite of the bumper harvest recorded in 2011 in the state.

‘’You know whenever there is an increase in the price of petrol, it will affect the price of almost everything, because of the hike in transport fare,’’ he noted.

The situation is the same in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where significant price hikes were witnessed in a basket of fresh tomatoes and a carton of frozen fish selling for N7,500 and N9,000 respectively as against N5,500 and N7,000 during the Christmas season.

Bags of Caprice and Mama Gold rice now cost N11,500 and N9,000 respectively compared to N10,500 and N8,000 previously.

Similarly, the price of a basin of garri rose from N1,500 to N1,700 and a crate of eggs from N750 to N930 while a bunch of plantain rose from N1,200 to N1,700.

A rice seller, Mrs. Ama Brown, said transport fare from Port Harcourt to Aba in Abia State, increased by 50 per cent just as haulage charges increased.

“After Christmas sales, we had to restock and it fell into the crisis period of petrol subsidy removal when the transport fares were doubled by transporters due to hike in the price of petrol,” Brown said.

http://www.punchng.com/metro/consumers-want-govt-to-reg-ulate-foodstuff-prices/
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Pukkah: 3:53pm On Jan 24, 2012
A system for price regulation ought to have been put in place before hiking the price of a commodity as crucial as petrol. Or did the government not think of it?
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by babaowo: 3:21pm On Jan 25, 2012
Where are buses FG said they lunched for mass transportation
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by otokx(m): 3:29pm On Jan 25, 2012
^^^ They are in the pipeline.
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Cogent(m): 3:32pm On Jan 25, 2012
Ke ke ke ke grin
are those making the request expecting Oga GEJ to oblige? grin
if he had a good head on iis shoulders he would have put things like this in place before his rubbish subsidy removal.
The man is just looking out for himself and Cabal.
(he hasn't arrested them)
Apart from regulating prices of food items, he ought to also put subsidy on food items, education and health care, abi cabal dey doze area too?
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by koolboi(m): 3:44pm On Jan 25, 2012
i have seen the paliative buses" and another point to tell me clearly that goodluck and his govament is a joke. who is supposed to benefit from those old rickety busses sef? is it not civil servant like me? i buy fuel cos i cant acces any of the buses on my route
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Akintola11(m): 3:54pm On Jan 25, 2012
This Week in Nigeria:  Inspector-General of Police RESIGNS!!, Scores of Boko Haram suspects arrested, Fuel Importers summoned by EFCC & much more!!

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http://thinkafricapress.com/nigeria/blog/week-nigeria-police-chief-resigns
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by highland(m): 3:57pm On Jan 25, 2012
Our economy is largely depends on import products including foodstuffs, this can not allow price regulation. The way out is for us as nation to start producing on our own.
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Seun(m): 4:24pm On Jan 25, 2012
This is a ridiculous idea. Price ceilings always leads to shortages because they reduce the incentive to produce. In other words, if they do this, instead of food being expensive it will simply be unavailable. People who can't make profits on the new prices will be forced out of the agricultural business, leading to more unemployment. If the govt wants to force food prices down, they have to subsidize it with your tax-money, which is also very bad.
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by monopolist: 5:05pm On Jan 25, 2012
Go and PLANT your own FOOD and see how easy it is
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by stunna2(m): 5:26pm On Jan 25, 2012
i find CNN, ALJAZEERA AND NAIRALAND to be somewhat depressing sometimes,
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by oderemo(m): 6:02pm On Jan 25, 2012
Go and PLANT your own FOOD and see how easy it is
oga monopolist, funny how should say that cos most ppl nowadays are so lazy to the point of not able to plant common vegetables i.e gbure, shoko,ewedu etc.
these are very easy crop to plant yet majority now prefare to go buy instead gething dirty @ the backyard.
this same lazy bone complain of price increment on foodstuff, well some forget how hard farming is.
the country is teething towards food shortage anyhow and lazybone will not be on the menu.
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Pukkah: 6:04pm On Jan 25, 2012
Seun:

This is a ridiculous idea. Price ceilings always leads to shortages because they reduce the incentive to produce. In other words, if they do this, instead of food being expensive it will simply be unavailable.  People who can't make profits on the new prices will be forced out of the agricultural business, leading to more unemployment.  If the govt wants to force food prices down, they have to subsidize it with your tax-money, which is also very bad.

Let's look at this scenario.  The bus fare from Marina to Ikorodu before fuel price was increased was N300.  Now, after the removal of the subsidy and price of petrol was increased from N65 to N97 (about 50%), the bus fare increased to N700 (about 133%). Is this commensurate?

Don't forget that the bus uses the same number of litres of petrol (about 15 litres) and carries about the same number of passengers (14).  Before subsidy removal, the income by the driver was N3,225, i.e. N4,200 (N300 x 14 passengers) - N975 (15litres x N65) which has now increased to N8,345, i.e. N9,800 (700 x 14) - N1,455 (15 litres x N97).

Is the increase in the driver's income by about 160% (from N3,225 to N8,345) not more than enough to cushion the original petrol price increase?  How many employers of labour will increase salaries by a whopping 160%? How many service providers (labourers, barbers, airlines, banks, etc) will increase wages or fees by a staggering 160%.  Can you now see that the driver in our example has increased his transport fare more than he should have?

My point is that government should have provided a guide for transport/drivers' unions on how transport fares should increase after the subsidy removal.  This part of how the government should have prepared the economy for the removal.  Afterall, one of the essence of government is to facilitate and regulate the economy. The situation out there is that many of those drivers simply take advantage of the situation and rip off commuters.  This is just one example.

I don't believe in an unmonitored price system regime because it exists only in theory and no responsible government leaves its citizens to the vagaries or inadequacies of the price mechanism.

It is also not a bad strategy to subsidize food prices indirectly with our tax money.  This can be done by providing fertilizers, research for good seeds and yield, good roads, loans, etc for the farmers.  What's bad in this? In theory, the price system is about profits, not people.  In reality, running a country is about people; their welfare and security.

A good government should always ask, will my people be able to afford the increase in prices? There's a social backlash if they can't afford it.  The unemployment you wrote about will happen together with its attendant effect on crime rate.
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Seun(m): 6:23pm On Jan 25, 2012
The govt should not be involved in setting transport fares either. If people cannot afford the fares, they will reduce their patronage of buses and taxis. They will not go out unless they absolutely have to, and they will trek or bike where possible. Apart from going to work, they won't go out until absolutely necessary.  Facing reduced patronage, transporters who can afford to reduce fares will do so, while those who can't will be forced to find a different business.  By this natural mechanism of demand and supply, transport fares will fall to a level that suits both transporters and commuters
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by kim77: 6:29pm On Jan 25, 2012
The government said public transport don't use petrol (they use diesel).
So, transport fare wont go up. Beside they are talking with transport unions not to increase fare, ION. This government is miles away from the masses,
Re: Consumers Want Govt To Regulate Foodstuff Prices by Pukkah: 7:00pm On Jan 25, 2012
Seun:

The govt should not be involved in setting transport fares either. If people cannot afford the fares, they will reduce their patronage of buses and taxis. They will not go out unless they absolutely have to, and they will trek or bike where possible. Apart from going to work, they won't go out until absolutely necessary.  Facing reduced patronage, transporters who can afford to reduce fares will do so, while those who can't will be forced to find a different business.  By this natural mechanism of demand and supply, transport fares will fall to a level that suits both transporters and commuters

Your response is the ideal situation especially whereby there is idle or unused capacity. For example, has the increase in petrol prices reduced traffic on Lagos roads? No. Does this mean that there is a reduction in patronage of public buses to go to work in spite of an unjustifiable or undue price increase? No. What has happened? The people have little or no choice and are sacrificing other needs or borrowing to meet up while the transporters feed fat.

If we were to rely wholly on the awesome powers of the laws of demand and supply, there would be no regulatory bodies (e.g. CBN, NCC, NCAA, NERC, PPPRA, etc) at all and we would simply let the fittest survive.

A similar mistake was made by economist J.B. Say who postulated that 'supply creates its own demand'. Say believed that everything would eventually find a buyer so recessions would never occur and full employment was always a certainty. How wrong was he! The 1930s recession came and his theories failed to work until Lord Keynes came.

Keynes noted that the problem of recession was due to a deficiency in aggregate demand. He also said that an economy in recession cannot be expected to recover on its own, and certainly not within a reasonable time, without the assistance of high level public spending and use of deficit finance. Overcoming recessions and stimulating the economy is seen as dependent on the restoration of demand, which is the active responsibility of governments.

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