31st August, 2010
Water vendors and hawkers in Lagos have raised their prices as a result of power outages, a check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has shown.
According to the check, the price increase of between 50Â and 100 per cent, is more noticeable in the suburbs where potable water is unavailable.
In areas such as Ikorodu, Egbeda, Gowon Estate, Iyana-Ipaja, Ketu, Ajegunle, Ogba-Ikeja, Abule-Egba, a bucket of water is being sold for as much as N7 while 10 jerrycans hitherto sold for N200 now cost N300.
Patrons of the water vendors, who spoke to NAN, decried the increase.
“We now buy three buckets of water for N20 instead of the five buckets we used to buy with the same amount.
“Water hawkers have also increased their prices.Â They now sell 10 jerrycans for N300 as against N200.
“We usually spend quality time at the taps before we are served water because of long queues particularly when there is no electricity,â€™â€™ said Madam Mary Ulaha, who resides in Egbeda.
Mr Wale Adeyemi, who lives in Ikorodu, said: “We buy a bucket of water for N10 if there is no electricity as against N5.
A resident of the Gowon Estate in Egbeda, Mr Leo Igwe, noted that the prices had refused to come down following last weekâ€™s strike by electricity workers.
“Since we do not have access to potable water, we are at the mercy of vendors who use generator to pump water most of the time because of power outages.
“The prices have refused to come down since they announced an increase during the PHCN workersâ€™ strike,â€™â€™ he told NAN.
Ismail Lawal, who hawks water, justified the rise, saying “the increase is from the vendors, we sell what we buy.
“Formerly, were buying 10 jerrycans for N100 now,Â it is N150. I also have to increase the price because of the distance we cover to get the water.
A vendor at Abule-Egba, Mr Joseph Ajayi, attributed the increase to high cost of diesel.
“The price of diesel is not stable and it is high between N110 and N118. We are forced to sell water at commercial rate.
“We are in business to make money and at the same time to provide water for the teeming population,â€™â€™ he said.