Port Harcourt — As victims of devastating flood count their losses in Rivers state, prices of food stuffs and other essential commodities has continued to soar in Port Harcourt and its environs.
A market survey conducted by Daily Trust in Port Harcourt shows that a basin of garri , a local staple food consumed mainly by low income earners which was sold at N1,600 just recently, now costs between N5,000 and N6,000.
A four liter bucket of garri which went for N200 previously is now sold at N700.
A cup of beans sold at N60 but is now N120 while a cup of rice goes for N80 as against N50 that it was sold for before.
Also a four liter bucket of onions which N500 before now goes for N1,500.
Prices of provisions such as milk, sugar and coffee has equally skyrocketed. A tin of milk which cost N100 before now cost N130 while a tin of coffee and a packet of sugar which were sold at N200 each now goes for N250 respectively.
Chidi Amadi a petty trader at the popular Mile One market in Port Harcourt attributed the sudden increase in prices of food stuff to the rampaging flood which she said washed arable farm land and destroyed food crops across the country.
She disclosed that victims of flood from Bayelsa and Delta states come to Port Harcourt in large numbers to buy food items - a situation she said was also responsible for the increase in prices of food items.
But John Nwoke another petty trader at Creek road market also in Port Harcourt has a different opinion on the astronomical increase in prices of food item. He blamed the increase in prices on greedy traders who are taking advantage of the floods to increase the prices of their wares.
He called on the state government to set a special task force on price control that will go round the market and enforce unified price in the state.