Barely 24 hours to Christmas, prices of foodstuffs and perishable goods have increased slightly in Gombe State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prices have increased on virtually every food item except, curiously, rice.
While the prices of polished rice have dropped from N33,000 to N29,000 and N28,000 respectively, depending on type, a measure of local rice has dropped to N550 from N600.
Malam Mustapha Aliyu who sells foodstuff at the Gombe Main Market told NAN on Thursday that a big basket of tomatoes now costs N6,000 as against N5,500, while a bag of pepper costs N7,000 as against N6,000 last week.
A measure of flour now costs N350 as against N300, he said.
He said vegetable and groundnut oil also attracted N400 price increase.
He blamed the increased costs on hiked transportation charges.
Aliyu said price increases experienced long before the Yuletide season resulted from the Covid-19 lockdown, which affected virtually all sectors of the economy.
An onion dealer, Malam Mudi Yunusa, also told NAN that a bag of onions which sold at N18,000 now costs between N47,000 and N50,000 depending on the sizes and type.
Aliyu attributed the hike in prices of onions to lack of storage facilities, adding that onions storage had always been a challenge, especially at this period of the year.