Market Survey 2020 – The Big Rip–Off: Sura Traders Take Customers to the Cleaners

Dear Subscriber,

If you live in Lagos Island, VI or Ikoyi and you are ‘traffophobic (fear of traffic)’, mind our French. You may be a victim of traders at Sura market, who are charging a premium of 20% and above for identical commodities. You are definitely buying plantain, garri and tomatoes far above the prices prevailing at Iddo and Oyingbo.

Traders are rational economic agents and are also very smart. They know that price discrimination is a feature of imperfect markets. They are also aware, that their customers are more likely to be elites, living in expensive flats in Ikoyi or Victoria Island and more than anything else have ‘deep pockets’. So what do they do? They size you up very quickly and then proceed to charge you a price based on their assessment.

Price discrimination, as you may know, is not Nigeria-specific but a universal phenomenon. It is a natural function of higher logistics costs, demand elasticity, market segmentation and income inequality. The partial closure of the 3rd Mainland Bridge will further disrupt the commodity supply chain and widen the price differential between markets.

In the slides, the FDC Think Tank shares its findings of a joint survey of Lagos markets by Channels TV and FDC on the factors responsible for price discrimination in the Lagos Metropolis.

Do enjoy your read…