By Amuda Dan Sulaiman
Hawkers of sachet water in Lokoja the Kogi State capital, took to the streets of the confluence city on Thursday to protest against the increase in the price of a bag of sachet water popularly called ‘pure water’ from N200 to N250.
The traders, who carried empty containers, marched from the busy Murtala Muhammed Road to the Government House, chanting “we no go gree” and called for government intervention.
One of the sellers, Mrs. Dupe David, said many of them were shocked when the dealers of the product informed them of the extra N50 added to the price.
David, who told our correspondent that she had been selling sachet water for almost 20 years, lamented that the new price would be a great burden to many of them who were the breadwinners of their families.
She also said her customers had refused to buy a sachet of water for N20 due to the increase.
“Those we buy from told us this morning (Thursday) that a bag of sachet water is now N250. We get only N20 as profit per bag and that is what I use to feed my children.
“We sell at Lokoja International Market and people have refused to buy. I am begging the government to intervene. If people do not buy, it will affect me; my children will have no money to eat because it is our source of living,” the 35-year-old mother said.
Another protester, Mallam Sulaiman Ibrahim, said he was told that the price was increased to N250, in spite of the levies they were subjected to by fee collectors in different markets in the state capital.
She said, “We used to buy a bag for N200 and we pay for fees. At old Market, we pay N40. If we go to Lokoja Street, we pay N40.
“But surprisingly, when we got to the market yesterday (Wednesday), we were told that it had been increased to N2500. They did not explain why, so we said that we would not accept it because we pay levies and feed our children from our profit.”