The sharp increase in the price of commodities caused by the increase in the prices of petroleum products has made life much more difficult for residents of Gombe metropolis, especially petty traders and low-income earners.
Most of the residents lamented that they hardly eat three square meals in a day, in addition to struggling to provide other basic needs of their respective families.
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North East Trust spoke with a fruit seller and a vulcaniser, who lamented that due to the astronomical rise in the prices of food items, they hardly feed their families three square meals in a day.
A fruit seller along the Government House road, Malam Zubairu Abubakar, said the hike in the prices of commodities has seriously affected his life and that of his wife and two children.
He said they now find it difficult or almost impossible to eat three times in a day from his fruit business, which he relies on.
“Even before the increase in the prices of foodstuff, we hardly eat a balanced diet. What we eat is (tuwo), food prepared from maize with a soup made from baobab tree leaves.
“My wife usually warms the remnant in the morning, which we take as our breakfast, in fact sometimes it is reserved again for the children to eat in the afternoon as their lunch,” he lamented.
Abubakar said in the past he was renting a room and parlour, but when he couldn’t pay the rent, he has relocated to a single room where he now stays with his family of four.
He added that the high cost of commodities affected his capital as he can no longer purchase the fruits in sales in large quantites, which brings more profit.
“I no longer buy a sack of oranges or buy large number of watermelons, banana or pineapple. I now collect the fruits on credit from a major dealer, to pay back after selling.
“When the business was good, I used to travel to Bauchi to get the fruits because they are much cheaper there,” Zubairu added.
Another resident, Umar Aliyu Lalas, a vulcaniser at the Gombe southern bypass road, said he could not remember the last time his family ate food to their satisfaction.
According to him, his wife alongside their four children just eat whatever he can afford from his vulcanising business.
“The situation is becoming too bad daily, because apart from struggling to feed my wife and four children, I also pay rent monthly, besides medication and other basic needs,” he said.
Lalas added that he only eats two times daily, breakfast in the morning, which is prepared from the leftover of the previous night dinner made from either maize or millet.
“The comforting part, for now, is that the children are home because the schools are yet to fully resume because of the COVID-19 pandemic. My fear is when the next term begins I don’t know how to pay the children fees and their daily transport to the school,” he lamented.