Food and Prices Conundrum In UI

By: Ajadi Sodiq

The recent surge in food prices across Nigeria has significantly a dire toll of impact on students at the University of Ibadan. This increase in prices not only affects the affordability of food, but also the portion sizes and overall food quality.

About a week ago, I found myself caught between the rising cost of groceries and its inflated version at the campus cafeterias. Not only are these essential food items more expensive, but they come with consequences for students. For one, increasing cost forces some sets of students to trek to distant markets like Bodija, adding extraneous costs and stress. This in turn forces students to be dependent on already-made food from vendors. This situation creates an opportunity for exploitative food vendors, in such cases, to potentially take unscionable gains from the economic limitations infested by the country at large.

Also, the inflation in town has demonstrably impacted the quality of food sold, with cafeterias within the University offering what some sections of students have observed as a lesser portion of food for a higher price. Ideally, price adjustments in the university should be more efficient than it is. Thus far, the changes in price and quality are evident today, raising concerns about key stakeholders’ honest commitment to students well-being. Students deserve to be informed about these alterations, as it significantly has a direct impact on their ability to access nutritious and affordable meals.

In need of more emphasis, the hike on food prices and other essential commodities on campus has remained a rude reality. With some forced to turn away their budgets, some would be without an option than to throw their meal plans aside. For instance, a student who had planned to have three wraps of fufu for the previously established price of 300 naira, may be struck with the mathematics of 200 naira charged for a similar kind of wrap in other cafeterias. Faced with this unexpected increase, such a student would be left with a difficult decision, either deplete their savings for future meals or forgo the cafeteria altogether.


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