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It is a fact that cannot be doubted that prices of goods especially consumer items skyrocket so often in Nigeria. This is as a result of the economic depression that the country is going through.
Every nation has the causes of her economic problems and their attendant effects peculiar to it. In the case of Nigeria, the causes are many and the effects are much.
One of the economic problems causing a lot of concern to the government and citizens in Nigeria in increase in general price levels of goods and services. One wonders what value the Nigeria currency (the naira) has today.
In the 1950’s the prices of consumer items were moderate and the rate of inflation was insignificant. However, by the second half of 1960, with the advert of political instability which culminated five months, there came some noticeable changes in the value of the Nigeria.
The post war period was marked by the famous ill-fated Udoji salary award of 1952 and oil boom which resulted in visible changes in the standard o living of the populace. There were more money in circulation and prices jumped up because the domestic productive activities could not equate demand.
But today, the hopeless situation of things forces one to cast aspiration on the Udoji award in 1974 a notebook (80 leaves) sold for less than 50 kobo, but today that same 80 leaves notebook is selling at about N80 in the market. Six yards of Nigeria single (cloth) that used to cost about N250 (two hundred and fifty naira) as at 1989 now cost N1200 (one thousand, two hundred naira). MacLean brand of toothpaste (maximum size) that was sold for N30 (thirty naira) as at 1990 now sells for about N110 (one hundred and ten naira). Lotus, a body cream that is sold for N15 (fifteen naira) three years ago now sells for N85 (eighty five naira). What about bed foams? It now cost N3,000 (three thousand naira) to buy a ten spring vital foam that was sold for N200 (two hundred naira) as at 1992. A shirt of N600 now used to cost about N40 as at 1980. As for the prices of automobiles, they increase at geometrical rate. For example a Peugeot 504 Saloon car that was sold for N8, 500 as at 1980 now cost a whole sum of N1.3 million.
Prices of food stuffs or items are also very high. A cup of beans has jumped from N5 to N15 within a range of about four years in different places, a price of meat that sold for N5 in1974 is now sold for N40 kobo, now sells for N120. On the other hand a bag of salt now sells for about N500 instead of about N7 ten years ago. It should be noted that these prices or market survey were gotten after carrying out market survey in selected market in Edo State. Examples of these markets are Auchi main market in Auchi, New Benin market in Benin City. We went to some car show rooms in Benin City like Umagbai Motor along Sakponba road also in Benin City.
However, each state and local government area has different causes of high prices of some of these consumer items. For instance, the causes of high prices of ice fish around Auchi metropolis may be presence of Auchi Polytechnic Community which is made up of people from various works of life with different feeding habits, cultural background, orientation and standard of living.
It could be seen to today that many of the formulated economic policies of the country results to the high prices of these consumer items. An example is the (S.A.D) structural Adjustment programme of 1986 under which a conscious programme of import substitution was vigorously pursued under this programme, importation of rice, wheat and some of the major raw materials for firms were binned. Manufacturing firms now depended on local raw materials of which prices were higher than those imported those increasing cost of production thus/hence increase in prices of goods produced.
1.1 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
To attach meaning and actually evaluate to some extent the usefulness of this project write up, it would be equally wise to enumerate the aims and objectives of this study.
The aims and objectives are as follows:
1. To make a detail examination of pricing policies and strategies of consumers items.
2. To examine the possible causes of the high prices of consumer items.
3. To critically look at the effect of these high prices on the producers, competitors, consumers, and the government.
4. To identify possible solution to the problems of high prices of consumer items.
1.2 RELEVANCE OF STUDY
The importance or relevance of this study cannot be over emphasized as it can be perceived in the changes in consumer behaviour or market trend in Nigeria particularly Edo State. This study will create awareness about the causes, effects and possible solutions to the high prices of consumer items.
Furthermore, this study will be very relevant to the government of this country (Nigeria). A thorough comprehension of this study will enable the government to intervene through regulating market prices and other measures that will be highlighted in the study.
Finally, there is no doubt that after the researchers hall have produced a write-up to reckon with, on the cause and consequences of high prices of consumer items in Nigeria which will serve as an instrument to educate future researchers.
1.3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS
In Nigeria, particularly Edo State, the citizens complain bitterly about the high prices of the goods they consume. They lament that the present cost of living is very high thus lowering their standard of living. They now wonder and when these problems would be solved.
In view of the above problem to be addressed in this study, lie in the following pertinent questions:
1. What are the causes of high pieces of consumer item?
2. How are citizens and the entire economy affected?
3. In what ways can these high prices be checked?
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
This study examine in detail the causes and consequences of high prices of consumer items in Nigeria with particular attention to Edo State.
The study embraces the various strategies and policies applied by consumer good manufacturers, the various classifications of these consumer items such as convince, specialty, shopping e.t.c. the various pricing objectives of firms and finally, the possible solutions to the problem of high prices of goods.
In carrying out this study therefore, we intend to be as practical as possible by getting the necessary materials and information from market places, manufacturing firms and other buying centers.
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