There isn’t much with the border closure. The sellers within have increased the cost price. They inflated the prices. 20kg of Titus was sold for like N17,000. There are no jobs, there is nothing to do. Ebute got burnt leaving people stranded. The fish business is something else now. Things have changed from the way it used to be. It’s expensive buying or selling fish. This is because Kote fish used to be sold for N5,000/N6,000. Now the smaller ones go for N12000 with the bigger ones going for 14,000. That shouldn’t be so. Titus fish was not costly in the past. The carton was between N8,000 and N10,000. Now the price has doubled. That’s for the original Titus fish. It is being sold N24,000. That’s how we buy it now. This fish was being sold N6,000 before. Now we buy it N15,000 or N16,000. We used to buy Shawa N5,000 now we spend as much as N12,500 or N13,500 to buy it. The way things are going is scary. Something has to be done about it. We no longer make profit. May God have mercy upon us. Q: How are you able to buy with the border closure? A: With the border being closed, things are tougher. Before the border was closed, we knew how we were getting it. Upon hearing the border got closed, they increased the selling price. Q: What kind of fish can we get locally? A: We have catfish. We really don’t get other types. What we have in the sea is not like the imported ones. It is expensive because of those going to the high sea. If only the government has provision for fish farmers on the high sea. If there were speed boats… things will be easier. But things are also expensive for the fish farmers. Before they catch the fish and bring them to the market for selling, they spend. But we pray the government has mercy on us We have been in this line of business for years. We took over from our mothers. We grew up learning how to do this. We pray we don’t suffer as we are doing this because this is hardship. The government should do whatever can be done to help us. Q: How is the yam market now? A: There is no market at all. We are not selling. Yam is expensive now. Things are very expensive. If all is well, there would have been buyers here by now. There is no money for people to buy. Q: Has the border closure affected the yam market in any way? The closure of the border has not affected the yam market. It is the flood that has destroyed farm products. That’s why the market is this way. Vehicles can’t get into the farms because of the flood. The few things they are able to bring to the market are expensive. That’s why things are the way they are. Q: Does this mean you haven’t made a dime since you got here? A: Hmmm. We haven’t sold much. A few customers have been here though. They are also reselling. There is no market. If we have sold there wouldn’t be anything left by now. Q: How much do you buy yam now? Is it more expensive at your supplier’s end? A: It’s more expensive now. In the past, this was either N250/ N300. Now it is N350/N400 per tuber from the farmers. Q: What’s the market for frozen chicken/turkey like at the moment? A: (Exclaims) May we not suffer in this country. Things are somehow; it has never been this way before. May we live to enjoy better days. We are unable to import frozen chicken from Cotonou. The available ones produced here are substandard. I used to sell the locally produced frozen chicken before. The one that was being sold N8,000 per bag is now N12,500. Hence, we cannot buy it. Even when we do, people won’t buy from us. About three persons have been here this morning to buy frozen foods. They said it was too expensive to buy. Let’s talk about rice; the Nigerian rice is not suitable for consumption. The Nigerian rice is even more expensive than the imported ones. Yet, we are unable to buy the latter. We were asked not to import foreign rice yet ours is inedible. A tin goes for N500 if you g o to the stalls. That’s how they sell. How many people can be fed from a tin in a family? Let’s say a house with five children excluding the parents. Can a tin of rice satisfy them? It is also filled with stones. They should help us; to let it be refined like the imported ones. They should also reduce the price. It is too expensive. The Nigerian chicken too is substandard. The one sold for N900 is now N1,700 per one. That’s about 1kg. It is not as hard as the imported ones. They are soft. The government should work on these things. People are suffering; People are really suffering. Nigerians are only rugged by default. The hardship here is real. Other countries would have been subdued if they went through what Nigerians go through. Food is expensive; house rent is another issue. Things are so hard in Nigeria. Q: How much is frozen turkey? A: A kilogram of turkey is N2,000. It’s not easy getting it. Those they manage to import are so expensive. A carton can be sold for as much as N18,000. Q: How much was a carton before? A: The carton, even when things were so tough, was about N10,500/N11,000. Now it is N18,500/N19,000 per carton. Q: Are people buying? A: People are not buying it. I haven’t made a dime since I got here this morning. Three persons have been here to make inquiries. Q: How is the market now? A: Haaaa. We are simply managing. May God help us. It’s only God that can ease our suffering in this period. The issues are quite serious. Fish is so expensive to buy these days. It is extremely expensive. Shawa that is considered the cheapest amongst the fishes here has become expensive. If you don’t have N200, you cannot buy it talkless of buying titus… then to the other fishes available. Everything is expensive. May God have mercy on us. May He make things easy for us this period. Q: Are people buying? A: Haaa… since you came here has there been any buyer? We only manage so as not to go hungry with our children. There is nothing we can do about this. People are not really buying. Even when they do, it is not like before. They don’t have money to eat. They buy what they can afford. It is not making the sales good for us. Some salary earners buy from us on credit. If they collect our account numbers to pay into, they won’t pay. But because we know them already as our customers, we sell to them. They are indebted. There is no money at all.We are not selling. May God have mercy. Q: How do you get fish now that the border is closed? A: We simply buy what the government wants us to buy since there is no way again. Those selling within have increased the prices. They increased the price of everything. 20kg of Titus was sold for like N17,000 in the past is almost N20,000 now. If you don’t buy the pack of N20,000, they will sell the one that isn’t standard to you. In the past, they often discard fishes that are not good. They call them ‘rough’. There is nothing like ‘rough’ now. They no longer throw fishes away. They mix everything and find ways of selling them. That’s because they know there is no other way of getting frozen fish That is the situation we have with fish. It is what is available that we buy and sell. They have increased the price. So it is expensive. There are no jobs, there is nothing to do. Ebute got burnt leaving people stranded. They should have mercy for God’s sake. They should have mercy. We were asked to vote, we voted. They should have mercy. We’ve been unable to sell since morning. This bottle of groundnut oil was sold N300 before. Now it is N450 Please let them know. Have mercy on us. There is no money to spend. Even thieves are bitter about stealing. But not having jobs and food to eat has pushed them to the extreme. It is because they are idle. Please have mercy. Shops are being rented out N40,000 per month. What are we selling? N40,000! Yet, the shops are small. Why? How can we use one million in renting shop? Doesn’t he have a house in the village? Please have mercy upon us.