Nigeria’s Strange Market Forces at Ramadan

Adeola Aderounmu

I have not stopped wondering why the prices of food commodity usually skyrocket during the fasting month of Ramadan.

When I was a teenager growing up in Nigeria I was usually shocked at this phenomenon. The prices of essential food commodities usually shoot up during the fasting seasons.

This year 2011 has not been an exception.

Consumers are paying through their noses since this week started.

Ramadan is a fasting month and the number of people consuming perishable foods should be reduced. How does a decrease in demand lead to increase in prices of food items?

Do sellers hike their price to make up for the low numbers of buyers? Are suppliers deliberately making life miserable to other members of the populace?

Or does demand for food actually increase during the Ramadan month?

There are issues with the market forces in Nigeria that really need to be investigated and explain to everyone.

Exploitation of ordinary consumers should not be encouraged and government policies that prevent unnecessary increase in prices of food, goods and services should be enacted.

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