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As Nigerians prepare for the total shutdown of major markets in Lagos State due to the rapid spread of the pandemic (COVID-19), the latest household survey conducted by Nairametrics Research Team revealed that smuggled foreign rice has hit major market in the state.

According to the latest household survey, despite the closure of the country’s land borders, the past few weeks have been characterized with rise in the smuggling of foreign rice.

The research team found that various brand of foreign rice is being smuggled into the country, as traders disguise them in local bags to beat government tracking systems.

Meanwhile, the household survey showed that major food items reduced significantly across major markets visited last week as prices of tomatoes, pepper, Onions and Maize recorded significant drop. Specifically, a big bag of New Onions currently sells for an average of N11,000 compared to N25,000 recorded two weeks ago while Dry Onions sells for N13,000 from an initial average of N30,000.


On the other hand, some items such as Yam, Garri and Crayfish recorded increase in prices. For instance, the price of a big tuber sized yam rose from N875 recorded earlier in the month to sell for an average of N1,375.

This survey report highlights items that witnessed reduction in price, items that witnessed increase in price, items that maintained initial prices, Special markets and Market insights.

READ MORE: Prices of frozen Fish, Yam, Pepper, others jump as traders lament low sales in…)

Items that witnessed reduction in price

  • A 25 Litres gallon of local vegetable oil currently sells for an average of N12,575 from an initial average of N12,925. This indicates a 2.71% increase in two weeks.
  • The price of a 5 litres gallon of local vegetable oil also reduced by 2.22% to sell for an average of N2,200 from an initial average of N2,250.
  • A big basket of round shaped tomatoes reduced significantly to sell for an average of N5,500. It reduced by 26.67% from an initial average of N7,500 recorded earlier in March.
  • While a medium sized basket of round shaped tomatoes currently sells for N3,200 compared to N3,500 recorded two weeks ago.
  • A big bag of pepper currently sells for an average of N7,000. A 6.67% reduction compared to N7,500 recorded earlier in the month, while a medium bag that was sold for an average of N5,500 now sells for N5,000.
  • Maize also witnessed reduction in price, as both yellow and white type of the commodity sell for an average of N13,000 compared to initial averages of N17,500 and N16,000 respectively.
  • A bag of melon that was sold for an average of N49,000 two weeks ago, now sells for an average of N41,000 indicating a 16.33% decrease in price.
  • The price of a big bag of Dry Onions reduced by more than half, as it currently sells for an average of N13,000 compared to an initial average of N30,000.

Items that witnessed increase in price

Some major items that recorded significant increase in price over the past two weeks include Yam, Garri and Crayfish.

  • The price of a big tuber of Yam surged to sell for an average of N1,375 from an initial average of N875, indicating 57.14% increase in two weeks.
  • Also, a medium-sized tuber of yam sells for an average of N738, 15.69% increase compared to N638 recorded earlier in March.
  • A big bag of white of Garri currently sells for an average of N7,500 compared to an initial N6,500. This indicates a 15.38% increase in price.
  • A bag (nylon) of Crayfish is currently sold for an average of N15,500 compared to an initial price of N12,000.



Items that maintained initial price

Household food items that maintained initial prices within the last weeks include locally made rice, Beans, Noodles, Potatoes, locally made palm oil, bag of Flour, Beverages, Bread, cooking gas, Egg and Sugar.

  • A bag of brown beans (Oloyin) still sells for an average of N12,500, as white beans maintain its initial price of N18,250.
  • Dangote Flour and Honeywell Flour continue to sell for an average of N11,100 and N11,200 respectively, same as recorded two weeks ago.
  • The biggest basket of Irish Potatoes still sells for an average of N17,000 as a small-sized basket maintains an average of N1,800.
  • Sweet Potatoes also remain at its initial price reported earlier in March at N6,000 (Big basket), N1,000 (small basket) and N200 (smallest basket).
  • A crate of eggs sells for an average of N975; the price of Cway Bottled water also remained at an average of N613.
  • Household cooking gas is still being refilled for the same price as recorded two weeks ago: 12.5kg (N4,000) and 5kg (1,725).

Special Items / Markets

  • The price of tomatoes dropped by 26.67% from N7,500 recorded two weeks ago to N5,500.
  • A basket of tomatoes in the market varied in price according to the quality. Some traders sold a big basket of round shaped tomatoes for N5,500, N4,000 while others were sold for an average of N3,200.
  • A visit to the Onion section of Mile 12 market revealed a large influx of the commodity sighted in the market. According to major traders interviewed, the high stock of onions pressured the crash in price.
  • A nylon bag of Crayfish that was initially sold for an average of N12,000 earlier in the year as surged significantly to an average of N15,500.
  • Local rice (Umza) which was initially sold for an average N19,500 now sells for N17,000. Super King rice sells for an average of N16,500, JGW (Jigawa rice) also sells for an average of N17,000.

Market insights

  • As Nigerians brace for the shutdown of major markets due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Niaratemtrics Research Team found that prices of major food items are witnessing sudden increase in prices as demand record significant surge.
  • On smuggling, according to a major rice dealer at Daleko market, “some traders smuggling foreign rice into Nigeria and rebranding them into local bags so as not to escape government sanctions”. The rice dealer who pleaded to remain anonymous, told Nairametrics research that despite the closure of borders, recently, some major traders are now smuggling the item into the market disguised as local goods.”

Speaking further, he disclosed that local rice production has flooded Lagos markets, and this is a good development, but the quality of the product is still below par due to stones and dirt. He however, pleaded with the government to help block the channels where foreign brands of rice are still being smuggled into the country.

  • Bush mango seed (Ogbono) is now sold in two types across major markets in Lagos. This was disclosed by a trader at Oyingbo market.“we have two types of Ogbono seed now, Old one which is sold for an average of N55,000 and new ones being sold for an average of N85,000”, she said.
ItemsBrandUnitMUSHIN (19/03/2020)DALEKO (19/03/2020)OYINGBO (19/03/2020)MILE 12 (19/03/2020)Average MUSHIN (05/03/2020)DALEKO (05/03/2020)OYINGBO (05/03/2020)MILE 12 (05/03/2020)Average
Bag of RiceMama Gold10kgNA3500NANA3500NA3500NANA3500
Bag of RiceRoyal Stallion50Kg27000NA270002450026166.66666666727000NA27000NA27000
Bag of RiceRice Master10kgNA3500NA35003500NA3500NA35003500
Bag of RiceMama Gold50kg19000190001950019500192501900019000195001950019250
Bag of RiceCaprice50kg26500NANA250002575026500NANA2500025750
Bag of RiceMama's Pride50kg19000190001950019500192501900019000195001950019250
Bag of BeansOloyin50kg13000120001300012000125001300012000130001200012500
Bag of BeansWhite50kg18500180001850018000182501900018000185001750018250
Bag of BeansBrown>50kg20500180001900018000188752100018000210001800019500
Tuber of YamAbuja1 Big Size Tuber14001400130014001375900850900850875
Tuber of YamAbuja1 Medium Size Tuber750700750750737.5650650600650637.5
Carton of NoodlesIndomie305g (Belle full)2900290029002900290029002900290029002900
Carton of NoodlesIndomie200g (Hungry man)3200320032003200320032003200320032003200
Carton of NoodlesChikki100g2000220021002100210020002200210021002100
Carton of NoodlesMinimie70g1500150015001500150015001500150015001500
Carton of NoodlesGolden Penny70g1400140014001400140014001400140014001400
Bag of GarriIjebu80kg6000680070007000670060006800700070006700
Bag of GarriWhite50kg7000750075008000750060006500650070006500
Bag of GarriYellow50kg7500750075008500775075007500750080007625
Basket of PotatoSweetBig Basket6000600060006000
Basket of PotatoSweetSmall Basket1000100010001000
Basket of PotatosweetSmallest Basket200200200200
Basket of PotatoIrishBiggest Basket17000170001700017000
Basket of PotatoIrishSmall Basket1800180018001800
Basket of PotatoIrishSmallest Basket1300130013001300
Packet of PastaGolden Penny500g4300440043004200430043004400430042004300
Packet of PastaDangote500g4000400040004100402540004000400041004025
Packet of PastaPower (1 pc)500g220220220200215220220220200215
Packet of PastaBonita (1 pc)500g220200200210207.5220200200210207.5
Gallon of Palm OilLocal5 Litres1800150018001500165018001500180015001650
Gallon of Palm OilLocal25 Litres100009000950090009375100009000950090009375
Gallon of Vegetable OilLocal5 Litres2200220022002200220023002200230022002250
Gallon of Vegetable OilLocal25 Litres12600124001290012400125751300012800131001280012925
Gallon of Vegetable OilKings5 Litres3000300030003000300030003000300030003000
Gallon of Vegetable OilWesson5 Litres3900390039003900390039003900390039003900
Gallon of Vegetable OilMamador3.8 Litres25002450250024002462.525002450250024002462.5
Gallon of Vegetable OilPower3 Litres1800180018001800180018001800180018001800
Bunch of PlaintainPlaintain1 Big Bunch400400350400387.5400400350400387.5
Bag of FlourDangote50kg11200112001100011000111001120011200110001100011100
Bag of FlourHoney well50Kg11200112001120011200112001120011200112001120011200
Bag of FlourMama Gold50kg11000113001100011000110751100011300110001100011075
Bag of SugarDangote50kg3500320034003200332535003200340032003325
MilkPeak Powdered (Tin)400g12501200120012001212.512501200120012001212.5
Milkpeak Powdered(Tin)900g2400240024002300237524002400240023002375
MilkPeak milk (Refill)500g10501000100010001012.510501000100010001012.5
MilkDano Powdered (Tin)500g1000100010001000100010001000100010001000
MilkDano Powdered(Tin)900g2000200020002000200020002000200020002000
MilkDano (Refill)500g850800800800812.5850800800800812.5
MilkThreeCrown (Refill)380g720700750700717.5720700750700717.5
MilkLoya Powdered (Tin)400g10001000100010501012.510001000100010501012.5
MilkLoya (Refill)400g850800850800825850800850800825
MilkCoast (Refill)500g750750750750750750750750750750
Cocoa BeveragesMilo (Tin)500g10001100105010001037.510001100105010001037.5
Cocoa BeveragesMilo (Tin)900g2000210021002100207520002100210021002075
Cocoa BeveragesMilo Refill500g900900900900900900900900900900
Cocoa BeveragesBournvita Refill500g95010009509009509501000950900950
Cocoa BeveragesBournvita (Plastic)900g2000200020002000200020002000200020002000
Cocoa BeveragesOvaltine Refill500g800800850850825800800850850825
Cocoa BeveragesOvaltine(Plastic)500g1100110010001100107511001100100011001075
CoffeeNescafe Classic50g600600600600600600600600600600
TeaLipton Yellow label52g310290300300300310290300300300
TeaTop tea52g300300300300300300300300300300
SugarSt' Loius Sugar(Cube) 500g400380400450407.5400380400450407.5
SugarGolden Penny Sugar (cube)500g350300350300325350300350300325
BreadVal-U1 loaf370350350370360370350350370360
BreadButterfield1 loaf350350350350350350350350350350
Bottled Water (Refill)CwayRefill600600650600612.5600600650600612.5
Juice5 Alive1 litre600550550600575600550550600575
JuiceChivita1 litre600550600550575600550600550575
TomatoesBig Basketround shaped5500550075007500
Medium Basketround shaped3200320035003500
Small Basketround shaped2000250020002500
Big BasketOval ShapedNANA
Small BasketOval ShapedNANA
FishKote (Horse Mackerel)1 big Fish550500500550525550500500550525
FishTitus (Mackerel)1 big Fish500500550500512.5500500550500512.5
PepperBig bag7000700075007500
Medium bag5000500055005500
MelonBig bag41000410004900049000
OnionsBig bagDry Onions13000130003000030000
OnionsBig bagNew Onions11000110002500025000

About Nairametrics Food Price Survey

The Nairametrics Food Price Watch is a bi-weekly household market survey that covers the prices of major food items, with emphasis on five major markets in Lagos – Mushin Market, Daleko Market, Oyingbo Market, Idi-Oro Market and Mile 12


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