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Page 16 Women in Business

Page 16 Women in Business Sallah: customers complain of increase in prices of goods as traders complain of low patronage By Victoria Onehi, Latifat Opoola…

Page 16 Women in Business

Sallah: customers complain of increase in prices of goods as traders complain of low patronage

By Victoria Onehi, Latifat Opoola & Eseohe Ebhota

With just a few days left to the end of Ramadan and the celebration of Id-El-Fitri few days away, some Muslim faithfuls have been seen by our reporters in different markets of the Federal Capital Territory (F.CT) shopping.

In Kubwa market, one of our reporters observed that people were trying to shop for the items that would be used during the celebration.

Mrs Mariam Adamu says the prices of goods have increased greatly. “When I came to the market on Monday, 25kg bag of rice was sold for N10, 000 but today it has gone up to N12, 000. The way things are just increasing now, it might get to a point where some of this food items will be only for the rich”, the mother of three lamented.

A trader who gave his name as Musa said the reason why prices of goods were high was because of the economic situation of the country and high cost of transportation of goods. Speaking in Hausa, he said “I used to sell 25kg bag of rice for N8, 000 to N9, 500 but as it is now, I am finding it difficult to sell any because people hardly buy because of the increase in price,” Musa said.

Fatima Baba, an undergraduate also complained about the high prices of goods “A lot of things are on the high side now: clothes, food, household items in general. I went to see a friend of mine some days ago who had a new supply of clothes to sell. I chose some to buy but I was alarmed when I heard the prices. I just hope a lot of people would be able to celebrate this holiday, considering the high prices of goods,” Baba said.

One Ahmed Suleiman, a resident of Arab road, Kubwa, told one of our reporters that this was the first time he had stayed so long without being able to buy Sallah clothes for his children. “I hope I would be able to get some clothes for my children because things are difficult for us; there is no money anywhere,” the father of five laments.

Market Survey at Utako market by Daily Trust shows that a medium sized basket (dustbin basket) that was previously sold for N4,000 during the tomatoes scarcity is now sold for between N2000- N2500 while the big basket which was sold for N25,000 now sells for N15000 depending on the type of tomatoes.

Kassim Ibrahim, a tomatoes seller at the market told Daily Trust that the paint rubber is sold for about N600, depending on the customers bargaining power while the small plates is sold from N250 and above.

At the same market, the prices of bags of rice were seen to vary depending on the type and quantity. While the 50 kg bag ranges from between N17, 000 to N19, 500, the 25 Kg bags were sold for N12, 000 while other smaller bags cost between N8000 to N6000.

A kilo of beef is sold for N1500 while locally bred chicken is sold for between N1,500 to N2,000 while the agric chicken is sold from N1500 to N1000.

However, traders selling clothes in the market complained of low patronage.

Mallam Ishaq who sells ladies wares said the patronage has been really appalling as a result of the economic situation in the country. This Sallah, most households are not bothering themselves to sew Sallah clothes for the kids,” Ishaq said.

True to his words, Shamsiyya Usman, a mother of four said she will only get food items because there is not enough finance to buy clothes for children this festive period.

A woman who was seen shopping at the Wuse Market shares her experience with Daily Trust.

“The prices of goods have increased. A dustbin basket of tomatoes is N3, 000 and I am pricing two basket for N5, 000. I bought half basket of tatashe for N1,500 last Saturday, now they are selling for 2,300. I don’t know why the price is like this. May be because of the Sallah,” Hauwa Yusuf said

She was however glad about the price of chicken. “I bought chicken for 1400. I bought eight local Chickens for 11,500. The price of chicken is okay,” she said excitedly.

Similarly, one hajiya Hassana Sadiq said she bought 20 locally bred chickens for 1,200 each.

Alhaji Yerima Murtala who sells wrapper at the Wuse market says the patronage for clothes is low. “We sell hollandaise for 22,000 and the super wax is 31,000. We have laces for 120, 000, 100, 000 60,000, 50,000, 20,000 depending on what you can afford but people are not buying much,” Murtala said.

Indeed, at the market very few women were seen buying wrappers. However, others were lurking around their tailors to deliver their clothes before its Sallah day.

I started my business at 22

Victoria Onehi

Ameara Abraham started The Nail Bar at the age of 22. After graduating with a B.A in Politics and International Relations from Royal Holloway University, London and came back home, she discovered that there was no spa dedicated for nails in Abuja.

“We were all complaining about Abuja not having a dedicated spa for nails and as I had always been the beautician in the family I decided to share my passion with anyone who cared to listen. And by March 2011 I had officially launched TNB” she said enthustically.

Having started, Abraham faced challenges like any business does. “The major issues I faced were the lack of steady electricity and water supply – this is an integral part of my business which led to a loss of customers during my first few weeks of opening. Then, my age, 22 was also an issue for some of my customers and all my staff. In a sense I had to prove myself to everyone and earn their respect. I have really matured in the past 5 years of starting up The Nail Bar” she explains.

Her outfit currently consists of 14 employees. And for any start-up, Abraham has this advice. “It is important to stay true to your vision, be clear on what you want and put in place a plan to make it come alive. A lot of people will have opinions on how best you should execute your plan and this can be confusing,” she said.

Similarly, she said passion is key in making your vision a reality. “You must love what you do and want nothing more! My passion for beauty keeps me a step ahead of competitors. It’s not just about the financial benefits. I sleep, dream, eat, think and breathe beauty! It’s my passion,” Abraham said cheerfully.

On the biggest lesson she has learnt as an entrepreneur, Abraham said don’t be afraid to ask for help as an entrepreneur.

“ I always wanted to do everything myself because I thought as an entrepreneur I also had to be an accountant, a human resources manager, a marketing executive etc. While it is necessary to have an understanding of these various elements that make up your business, it is also very important to realise when you need to hand over to the professionals” she notes.

She however stated how to support and improve innovation in Nigeria. “Education and ongoing training is key in all sectors of industry in Nigeria. The key to my success is my constant search for knowledge in my field and improving myself,” she said.

Again, to have a successful business, Abraham says you must set your boundaries. “The best way to have a successful working life is to know your boundaries and make it very clear to whoever you find yourself working with. Being in Nigeria, I have found that the professional relationship line is almost always crossed and it tends to lead to unnecessary conflicts,” she notes.

Quote

“Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell.” -Lisa Stone, BlogHer co-founder and CEO

First women entrepreneurs’ conference holds in Abuja

By Daniel Adugbo

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association’s (NECA) Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) will on 14th July, unveil a maiden women entrepreneurs conference in Abuja with the theme ‘Giant Strides’.

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar will be Special Guest of Honour at the unique event.

During the programme, speakers will enlighten the participants on how to overcome their business challenges, form strategic alliances, learn innovative ways managing multiple streams of income and also tap into business opportunities in this era of change.

The Conference will be hosted by the Chairperson of NNEW-Abuja Chapter and her team which will be facilitated by seasoned facilitators including the CEO, NAKACHI Consulting, Sam Ikoku, Women Entrepreneurs, Omololami Ajani of WOOD-ET AL and LatifatBalogun of Hatlab Ice-Creams amongst others.

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