Frozen fish traders in Asaba, has appealed to the Delta State Government to assist the members with soft loans to enable them to cope with the current challenges in business.
The Chairperson of the Frozen Fish Sellers Association, Mrs Nneli Obiajulu, made the appeal in an interview on Monday in Asaba.
According to Vanguard reports, Obiajulu said that the members were now finding it very difficult to go on with the trade due to the continual increase in the cost price of frozen fish.
Catfish According to her, the association has been in operation for more than 15 years now, but the state government has not given the members soft loans to enable them boost their business.
“Most of the women you see in this association are the ones taking care of their children and wards.
“Now that things are difficult, we will appreciate if government gives our members soft loans to enable them remain in business.
“Many of our members are leaving the business because of the continual increase in the cost price of fish.’’
Obiajulu also said that a carton of Titus brand of frozen fish which sold for N18,000 in the past, now sells for N23,000.
The chairperson also said that a carton of mackerel fish that sold for N8,000 in 2015, now sells for N14,000.
She said that the increase in the price of the commodity had also affected their sales because some consumers had stopped buying.
“One now struggles to sell one carton of fish daily, unlike in the past when we sold between three and four cartons. Now you hardly find N300 worth of fish because of the high cost price.
“I have been in the business for over 15 years and what we are experiencing today has never happened before. The distributors in the last one year have been telling us that the cost of bringing fish into the country has been very high,”Obiajulu said.
She alleged that some sea food dealers in Asaba were worsening the situation by speculating over the price of the commodity.
She said that the development had compelled the retailers to source the commodity from Onitsha in neighbouring Anambra, pointing out that this had added to the increase in the cost price.