Some owners of provision stores in Buea, Fako division of the South West region have decried what they say is the negative impact of the rise in commodities prices on their ventures. They say, the price hikes have slowed business amid a rise in the cost of living.
Basic commodities such as soap, salt, oil, tomatoes, maggi and many others have in recent months witnessed a drastic increase in price.
According to a provision store owner who identified himself as Edwin, “I have been in this business for over two years and as compared to the previous years things are getting worst. We used to buy Maggi crevette for 1350 FCFA and sell 4 cubes for 100FCFA but now a packet costs 1500 FCFA leaving us with no options but to sell 3 Cubes for 100 FCFA”.
The hike in commodities prices was first witnessed last December. Many had think it was because f the festive season. They had thought things will improve with the coming of 2022 but the situation seems to be getting out of hand.
“We were selling palm oil at first for 500 FCFA or 600 FCFA per litre. During the festive periods prices increased to 1000 FCFA per litre but now that we thought things are more available and prices will decrease, the prices are instead increasing. A litre of oil now sells at least 800 FCFA, making things unbearable for both the customers and us, a buyum sellam, who gave her name only as Linda told MMI.
According to her: “The women went to the governor’s office last week for a meeting on the constant seizure of their oil but they told them that they are thieves. They were asked how can they go and buy oil from people they don’t even know if they have palm plantations or not. So what are we going to do now? We thought they were the ones to calm situation but now they are instead abusing women because they are selling palm oil. We don’t know what to do again”.
Besides business people, consumers have been grumbling over what they say is a general rise in the prices of commodities. Government has been battling with syndicates but nothing seems to be working.