Here Is Why You Should Kiss Your Favourite Fruits Goodbye Before Moving To Lagos

If you are moving from the North to Lagos, make sure you do an intense honeymoon with all the free and cheap fruits, also remember to kiss them goodbye before heading to Lagos.

Here in Lagos, good fresh fruits that are common and littering everywhere in a place like Jos are relatively scarce. Most fruits are not usually fresh, and in most cases, they have gone through artificial repining procedures.

Only recently, a fruit seller was caught on camera burying his mangoes inside gutter water here in Lagos. It was later gathered that the gutter water was used to preserve the fruits before selling them to unsuspecting consumers.

It is common knowledge here in Lagos that most of the seemingly ripe bananas, mangoes, plantains, etc, hawked and displayed for sale did not ripe naturally. Chemicals like calcium carbide and the rest are used regularly to bleach these fruits’ green skins to turn them to yellow.

Why this is so is because most of these fruits are brought in from the North which is over a thousand kilometres away from Lagos. Transporting them by road when they are already ripe means they would have over-riped and spoilt before getting to Lagos, so they are mostly moved in their green states.

Another reason is greed and lack of patience. A fruit like banana that can be gotten in places like Oyo and Ogun that are closer to Lagos, for example, can easily ripen on the tree before sale, but farmers and sellers want to make money speedily without considering the health dangers on consumers.

For those in the North, particularly Jos where I am from or even Benue, all the guava trees, mango trees, soursop trees, orange trees, pear trees, cashew trees and other fruit trees you can just stroll to in a nearby field, climb and pluck from free-of-charge are golds here in Lagos. In fact, if you are lucky enough to even see any of these trees, thank your stars.

For someone like me who lived a better part of my life in Jos, a place flowing with fruits and veggies, it is always a very difficult thing for me to use my hard-earned money to buy fruits. Like who uses good money to buy Mangoes? Something I have been getting for free from childhood to early adulthood. Fruits like Apple, Cucumbers, Pineapples are exempted because we still buy them in Jos, but common, Mango?

The reasons for the high-cost of fruits here in Lagos is because most of the fruits are transported here down from the North as earlier stated. So other costs like fuel, labour etc, are added. Then retail fruit sellers also add their extra costs to make profits.

For example, a big watermelon in Jos is around ₦200, but here in Lagos, it’s a different story. A big watermelon goes for ₦800, a 300% difference.

Watermelons, ₦800 each

In a chat I had with a Hausa fruit dealer in Lagos, who was just offloading his watermelons from a truck that has journeyed from Jigawa State to Satellite Town, Lagos, he said the cost for transportation alone is ₦130,000, excluding labour fee and other costs. According to him, these are the reasons why watermelons are high compared to the North. This is same with other fruits as well.

Another reason for the scarcity of fruits is because urbanization has claimed almost all the trees here in Lagos. Constructions of structures and roads are happening regularly and any tree standing in the way of development is massacred without any replacement.

Recently, a popular Nigerian twitter user @ozzyetomi expressed her displeasure about trees that were cut down by Julius Berger, a construction company while carrying out a project issued by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency. In her own words, she said “Our people have zero foresight. Laspark has authorized Julius Berger to massacre trees all along Ikoyi… trees that have been there for 100s of years. Destroying our environment, and for what? We should be building around the nature we have been blessed with”

A lambu farm

In Jos, you get fruits like watermelon, cucumbers, and vegetables like cabbage, lettuce etc, even during dry seasons when there is no rainfall because of the existence of what is called “Lambu” (farms besides streams or rivers) or irrigation-powered farms.

Lagosians hardly practise farming. White-collar jobs are the order of the day and even if you are interested in farming, you can hardly find land to farm. Most Lagosians interested in farming have to travel to neighbouring states like Ogun and Oyo where arable lands are available and cheaper.

Lagos slum

The Lambu system will also not fly here in Lagos because all river banks are occupied by buildings. In posh areas like Victoria Island, Lekki, Ikoyi, you will find exotic hotels, restaurants, offices and so on, while other not-too-posh areas like Badagry, Satellite Town, Ikorodu etc, are littered with boats, petty traders, thugs, smokers, trucks loading sand, a tremendous volume of trash etc. Also, while the waters in Jos are freshwater, Lagos water is ocean water, also known as saltwater, and saltwater is not suitable for watering plants.

The little things we usually take for granted are what others wish and crave for. Jos, Kaduna, Benue etc, are all blessed with great climate condition that enables varieties of fruits to grow even without much human care and nurturing. Also, almost every compound has at least one fruit tree. These among other reasons are why fruits are very cheap and mostly free.

Remember, when leaving the North for Lagos, do an intense honeymoon with your favourite fruits, munch them, savour every drop of their juices and nutrients, enjoy the moment and then kiss them goodbye.

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David Akeju

David Akeju

I think, I research, I write.

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