Days after announcing the reduction of the ex-factory price of cement, BUA Group has silently increased prices of foods, particularly a bag of sugar, a bag of flour, and a carton of spaghetti, an investigation has revealed.
The management of one of the giant cement coy in the country had on October 1 announced the reduction of the ex-factory price of the product to N3,500 per bag.
However, the announcement was greeted by public outrage as dealers were battling to enlighten the customers that the reduction in price affects only companies that supply the commodity directly from the factory.
However, an investigation by this newspaper revealed that BUA Foods had silently increased the prices of its sugar, flour, and pasta products.
Our reporter, who went around some shops at the popular Singer Market in Kano state, the biggest grocery market in Northern Nigeria, observed that the price of a bag of sugar, flour, and a carton of spaghetti had increased by N3,500, N2,000 and at least N1000 respectively.
Checks by this newspaper had shown that while the price of sugar was recently sold at N44,000 per bag, spaghetti at N8,100 a carton, and a bag of flour at N32,500, the commodities are now being sold at N47,500, N9,000, and N34,500 respectively.
A dealer of BUA Foods in Kano told our reporter that the increase in prices of the commodities followed immediately after the company announced the reduction of its cement product.
According to the dealer, who preferred to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to speak, they observed the increase in the prices this week.
He confirmed that the price of a carton of IRS Spaghetti, a pasta product of BUA Foods, is now N9,000 a carton at company price, while it was recently sold at N8,400 a carton, an indication that it could reach up to N10,000 at retail price.
He also said “We have observed the increase this week. The price of a bag of flour has now gone up to N34,500 as against the N31,000 to N32,000 sold last week. About N2,000 has been increased on a bag of flour and it is a company price.
” About sugar, there is no standard price, but it is sold up to N48,000 now in the market. It was N44,500 to N45,000 per bag just last week. Somebody told me that he is selling it at N46,500 per bag.
“We have just received the increase from them this week. They normally communicate with us via phone. They will just send us messages if there is any development.
“I also want to tell you that all these prices are company prices,” he stressed.
Our investigation also revealed that the price of the commodities had already gone up at retail outlets in Kano City.
A grocery shop operator, Mustapha at Karkasara the Tarauni Local Government area, informed our reporter that he sold a bag of 50kg sugar at N49,000 after he supplied it at N47,500 from the dealers.
Another shop operator, Ibrahim Musa in Fagge Local Government said he had observed an increment in the price of sugar, flour, and IRS spaghetti.
According to him, he purchased a 50kg bag of sugar at N48,000, adding that he supplied a bag of flour at N33,000, while IRS spaghetti was N9,100.
He lamented that despite the increment, he is recording low market as according to him, it had taken him about two weeks to finish a bag of flour.
“You know there is no money in the hands of people. Before I purchased this flour, the one supplied last time took almost two weeks before it finished.
“We are recording low market. People are in poverty and the patronage is low. We just thank God and pray for His intervention,” Ibrahim said.
Customers also expressed displeasure over the recent increment of BUA food products.
Hajiya Iyami, one of the major customers that purchase bags of flour for baking Gurasa, a locally-made staple in Kano, lamented that the price of the product has kept rising.
She said the price had been rising day in and day out from three years ago, recalling that the price had skyrocketed from just N5,500 per bag.
“Ironically, the price of BUA plower has skyrocketed just three years ago when a bag of flour was just N5,500. The price keeps going higher
“I have now bought a bag of flour at N34,500. We therefore call on the BUA company to reduce the price of flour as we heard that he reduced the price of s bag of sugar,” Iyami appealed.
Efforts to reach BUA company proved abortive as a major dealer in the state, who was speaking on behalf of the company said he could no longer speak now.