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April 14, 2024
You are currently viewing Nigerians decry soaring Egg prices, cite affordability concerns

Nigerians decry soaring Egg prices, cite affordability concerns

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By Okeoghene Akubuike

Nigerians can no longer afford to eat eggs as one egg is being sold for between N150 to N200 in spite of its health benefits.

Many residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, said that the increase in the price of eggs had left them no option but to stop buying or buying in smaller quantities.

NAN reports that a crate of egg which has 30 pieces, is currently sold for between N3,500 to N4,000 in the FCT.

The latest National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Food Price Report for January 2024 said the average price of a crate of medium-sized agric eggs rose by 54 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N850.49 in January 2023 to N1,309.75 in January 2024.

While the average price for one medium-sized agric egg increased by 33.45 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N87.23 in January 2023 to N116.41 in January 2024.

The NBS said that Abuja recorded the highest price of N140 for one medium-sized agric egg in January 2024, while the lowest price was recorded in Gombe at N100.

NAN reports that eggs are used for both domestic consumption and commercial purposes, prepared in different ways, and as a major ingredient in pastries, enjoyed by both the young and old.

Hajiya Jummai Hassan, the Assistant Director, Clinical Nutritionist and Dietitians, Gwarimpa General Hospital, listed the health benefits of eggs.

Hassan said eggs were an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin D, and A.

“The protein in eggs is useful for children and adolescents, helping to assist in their growth and development. Eggs also help older adults/senior citizens maintain muscle mass and strength.

“It is also a source of choline which helps in cellular maintenance and growth,” she said.

Christiana Okorie, a registered dietician, said it was okay to eat an egg per day depending on the individual’s health status.

Okorie also said that there was no specification for the daily requirement of eggs, however, children could eat an egg daily as well as adults and there would be no negative effect on the heart.

“However, for those with high cholesterol levels, I discourage them from eating the yolk frequently, they can eat more of the egg white. ”

Suleiman Idris, an egg seller in Area 2 market said patronage had dropped because of the price increase.

“People are still buying but not like before. I have some customers who used to buy a full crate, now some buy half crate, others buy a quarter crate, others buy a few pieces.”

A civil servant and mother of three, Oyiza Shehu said eggs had become unaffordable in spite of the nutritional benefits to the body.

“If you notice, the price of eggs has been on a steady increase since 2022. I remember when I used to buy a crate for N800 to N1,000, now a crate is N3,500. This is alarming.

“I can’t afford to buy eggs like I used to. Before I could give my children an egg every other day. Now we go a week without eating eggs. This is the sad reality,” she said.

A petty trader, Mabel Johnson, said she could not remember the last time she and her family ate eggs because she could no longer afford it.

“One egg is now N150 and I have four children. So it is better I use the money to buy other food items in the house instead of buying eggs.

“My children are not happy but what can I do? Is it not better for them to see garri or beans to eat than egg?”

Mr Chuka Nwanfor, a bachelor and private sector worker, said “the last time I checked, one egg was N150 and since then I have said bye-bye to eggs.”

Paul Bulus, a gateman said in the last four months he has not eaten an egg because of the price increase.

“I usually eat two twice a week, that has been my standard practice for years. But two eggs now costs N300. I cannot afford to spend that in one week on eggs alone. How much is my salary? ”

Akada Adesina, a taxi driver, laughed, saying “is egg food? It is difficult for me to afford to buy rice, beans, garri, or even meat, so how will I think of buying eggs? I don’t bother with eggs.”

A housewife, Jumoke Ayodele said, “I have to share one egg between my two children now so they can at least eat eggs and that is like once or twice a week ”

Nora Paul, a professional baker, said business had been slow due to the price increase of most ingredients used for baking cakes.

“Flour, sugar, and eggs have skyrocketed. It is scary. I don’t even know how to charge customers again because its not their fault.

”We use 12 to 15 eggs to bake an eight-inch cake depending on the size, while for a 10-inch cake, we use 15 to 18 eggs and for 12 inches we use between 18 to 20 eggs.

“So you can see how much bakers spend on just one ingredient. We have not talked about flour, sugar and butter, and other ingredients that are also on the increase,” she said.

Mustapha Abba, a tea seller, popularly called “mai shayi” said he sold one egg for N150, adding that many customers were eating without eggs now.

“Many of my customers do not request eggs with their indomie and bread again.

“Some that used to buy two eggs have reduced to buying one egg. They keep complaining that the price is too much,” he said.

Joyful Samuel, a poultry farm owner, said the cost of bird feed, and the maintenance of the birds were responsible for the increase in the price of eggs.

Samuel said the birds were vaccinated every four weeks and given daily multivitamins for their maintenance.

“We make our own bird feed. It costs a lot of money but it is still cheaper than buying outside and the prices keep increasing. However, there is a challenge in buying the materials we use for our feeds.

“Some people go to the markets to buy these materials in large quantities and hoard them and it becomes scarce for farmers like us who want to formulate their own feed.

“Another challenge is the cost of transporting these materials for the feed and even the ready-made feed. We know how bad the economy is, the prices of everything have gone up.

” So you can relate the price increase in eggs to all these things needed for production before finally the eggs are ready, ” she said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams

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