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Inflation: Alcohol dealers groan under soaring prices, low purchases

Ogbunachara said that the profit margin in the business was minimal as a result of the cost price received from the various bottling companies.

Inflation: Alcohol dealers groan under soaring prices, low purchases [123rf]

The stakeholders in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday, said there had been a 100 per cent price increase when compared with the same period in 2023.

Already, notification of an upward price review has been issued by the bottling companies.

NAN reports that a 50cl pet bottle of different brands of soft drinks currently sells for ₦300 as against ₦150 in 2023.

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Also, alcoholic beverages including canned beer with a current price pegged at ₦700 were previously ₦400, while a can of Malt drink increased to ₦400 from ₦250.

Similarly, the intoxicant business recorded almost 100 per cent price increment from ₦350 to N600 during the period under review.

Mrs Mercy Igalawuye, a supermarket operator noted that sales of the items had dropped considerably by 30 per cent in her store.

She charged the government to review the national economy holistically while addressing inflationary pressures across the country.

“Let the government look at areas where they can help, because the way it is, it’s only God and the government that can help us.

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“People can barely eat or afford basic things anymore not to talk of luxury like soft drinks. This is why it is important that government should intervene before things get totally out of hand for the masses,” she said.

Mr Seun Asaolu, a vendor, noted the gallop in the price of these products had been affecting daily sales negatively.

This development, he noted, had resulted in a drastic reduction in sales by about 50 per cent.

“If a client pays for items this morning, by evening, we have to compare prices to be sure we are still on the same page, else we run at losses.

“I had quoted for a client earlier in the month for an event scheduled for next month and by the time I went to stock this week, the prices had gone up.

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“So, this has been causing problems between event planners, vendors and clients.

“We hope the economy stabilises soonest, otherwise, the event industry would face serious issues going forward,” he said.

A distributor, Mrs Ngozi Ogbunachara, affirmed that prices had indeed gone up, while sales dropped, particularly since the beginning of the year.

Ogbunachara said that the profit margin in the business was minimal as a result of the cost price received from the various bottling companies.

She added that the number of retailers on credit had increased by about 50 per cent when compared to the same period of 2023.

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She appealed to the government to ensure that the cost of drinks, food items, consumables and essentials critical to livelihood is reduced.

Mrs Fikayo Obalolorun, a hawker, stated that the hot weather had greatly impacted sales when compared to a few weeks ago when Harmattan ravaged the city.

Obalolorun said the peak period for sales since the hot weather began was between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

She said she made an average of ₦6,000 as profit from the business each day, even though people were not buying as much as before.

She also sought immediate solutions to economic challenges affecting the country.

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NAN also reports that headline inflation for January 2024 rose to 29.90 per cent; 0.98 per cent higher than the 28.92 per cent recorded in December 2023.

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