The Abakaliki Rice Mill on Friday witnessed a deluge of customers from within and outside the state as people made last-minute purchases for the Christmas celebration.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria who visited the mill reports that the area witnessed increased human and vehicular traffic from the early hours of the day.
Although the product was available in large quantities, it was nevertheless expensive and the sellers blamed the high cost of transportation as well as the ban on the sale of foreign rice in the state.
A dealer in the item, Rose Elom, told NAN that the demand became higher after the state government banned the sale of foreign rice.
Elom said: “The Abakaliki Rice Mill for the past weeks has been witnessing increase in the number of customers. This is partly because of choices and quality of the rice and also the ban on foreign rice in the state.”
Joseph Umoke, a rice seller at the mill, said a brand of the rice was sold for between N8,000 and N 9,000 as against N6,000 and N 6,500 earlier.
Umoke also said that another brand know as 306 was sold for between N7,000 and N7,500 as against the previous price of between N5,000 and N5,500.
A buyer, Nkechi Livingston, said the increase in the number of customers was due to the quality of the rice.
Livingston said: “I sell Abakaliki rice more than foreign rice in Rivers because of the quality and that is why I am here.”