The ban on frozen turkey and chicken, a veritable substitute for life birds for the lower stratum of the society has sent the prices of the items up by more than 35 per cent in major markets in Lagos and Ibadan.
A market survey by our correspondent at Mile 12 and Ijora markets in Lagos and Bodija market in Ibadan showed that a carton of turkey now sells for N11,000 from N7,500, while chicken goes for N9,500 from N6,500.
At Bodija and Oje markets, a kilogram of turkey goes for N1,150 from N750, while chicken sells for N1,050 from N650.
At Bodija maeket, only one cold store had the products in stock and it was sold at N1,100 per kilo.
The federal government had banned the importation of frozen chicken, turkey in 2003 but since then the items have never ceased to exist in Nigerian markets.
On July 7, the Nigeria Customs Service flagged off a fresh enforcement of the ban.
The new measures seem to have a bite following the soaring price of the items barely nine days after the fresh campaign by the customs.
Traders confirmed that the shortfall in supply was responsible for the price increase.
“There is, however, a lot of frozen fresh fish in stock,” Mr. Popoola said.
Akinbiyi Adeyele, an economist, urged the Federal Government to cushion the effects of the impact by providing incentive and investing more in livestock agriculture.
He said: “We all agree that smuggling is bad for the country’s economy.
“The government should create a form of intervention so that those that are trading in this frozen food business will be encouraged to take up livestock production.”
He stressed that the overall effect would impact positively on job creation, boost the nation’s food security, agricultural sector and the economy generally.
A consumer who spoke with our correspondent at Bodija market, Ibadan decried the idea of government agencies’ penchant for banning those items that are identified with the less privileged in the society. The respondent, Mrs Aduke Adekunle, pointed out that frozen chicken and turkey have been known for the poor in the society who are incapable of financial wherewithal to afford life chiken and turkey. He said government should always make laws and policies that would make life more abundant for the less-privileged, rather than making policies that would exterminate them completely from the surface of the earth.
”How many level honest 8 civil servants in the country can afford a life Turkey for the Sallah in this festive season, let alone those from level 1 to 7, she asked rhetorically., stressing that government should focus more attention on the real problem of the country rather than scratching the surface.
Further investigations by the Street Journal however, revealed that the huge depreciation of the naira through CBN monetary policy measures also exacerbated the price hike of the commodities in the market. It was gathered that the products that find their way into the Nigerian market more often than not pass through Cotonou, Benin Republic, a development which involves conversion of the naira to the dollar to ascertain the true value of the commodities in