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Sallah: Low turnout in markets

Traders in various markets across the country have recorded low patronage ahead of the Eid-el-Fitr celebration. The reports from Kano, Borno, Kwara, Benue, and Federal…

Traders in various markets across the country have recorded low patronage ahead of the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

The reports from Kano, Borno, Kwara, Benue, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja show that the high cost of commodities play a part in the development.   

Traders at Kano’s famous Singer Market say they are experiencing low patronage ahead of Sallah festivities.

The market used to experience increased trading activities on the eve of Sallah celebration as people troop out to buy rice and other items for the celebration.

It was observed that prices of food and other essential items remain high.

Junaidu Muhammad Zakari, chairman of the traders association at the Singer Market said the low patronage being experienced could be attributed to low purchasing power among people and high cost of food items in particular.

Another trader at the market, Ibrahim Nafiu Abdullahi said this year was different in terms of patronage. He said previously the volume of sales on Sallah eve at the market was huge, adding that the prices of commodities that remained high might have been responsible for this as a 50kg bag of premium local rice is sold at between 64,000 and 65000 naira.

Nura Dakata, a resident, lamented that this year, everything is expensive including perishable goods.

At Yan Kaba Market, famous for perishable goods, traders are also recording low sales on the eve of Sallah. A measure of fresh tomatoes, which ordinarily should go for N500 is sold at N1000.

It is the same story at Tarauni Market, where chicken sellers are experiencing low patronage.

A Kano resident Abu Ammar Hamza expressed fear that many families would not prepare the usual Sallah meals and share with neighbours because of the high cost of rice, meat and chicken. 

Rising cost of chicken, beef worries Maiduguri residents

Ahead of Sallah celebration, some residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have also expressed worry over the rising cost of chicken, beef and other commodities.

A visit to Yan Kaji at the popular Monday Market showed how the prices of chicken, beef and other poultry had steadily increased.

Based on the market survey, a big sized broiler chicken goes for N11,000 while the moderate sized cost between N8,000 and N10,000.

Also, a kilo of beef cost between N5000 and N5,500 as against the between N3,500 and N4,000 before the beginning of Ramadan fast.

Similarly, the cost of moderate sized goat is N50,000 as against its previous price of N30,000 to N35,000.

One of the residents, Atiku Suleiman, described the hike in the price of meat as unfortunate.

“Just two days ago, I bought this big sized chicken N7,500 at Baga Market, and they are now asking N11,000 from me.

A housewife, Aisha Abubakar, said the high cost of chicken was partly caused by greed on the part of the traders.

“I equally have poultry but decided to take a break due to heat, but I couldn’t believe it when they called the price. A six weeks old chicken being sold for N7,500, where are we going in this country?.

Also, the prices of vegetables like tomatoes, pepper, cabbage, carrots, among others are very expensive.

A seller, Baba Kura, who justified the increase, said a lot of vegetables are getting rotten this season and every customer wants the best from it.

“We do make huge losses during the heat because nobody would want to take the bad ones, so we give the fresh ones at a cost,” he added.

Low patronage in Wuse Market

Traders in Wuse Market say there are no signs of festivity as patronage remains low.

When Daily Trust visited the market yesterday, both traders and consumers were visibly disappointed about the current economic situation in the country.

They said people could hardly afford the items as a result of the hike in prices.

Our correspondent also observed that the market was not in a festive mood as the rush that usually characterised the season years ago was missing.

Mrs Akpa Theresa, who sells tin tomatoes, and other condiments, complained of low patronage.

“Despite Sallah being around the corner, we are experiencing low patronage. Goods are available but costly. The prices of both condiments and commodities like groundnut oil, salad dressing have risen,” she said.

Abubarkar Yunusa, a clothes seller, urged the government to take urgent action to address the harsh economic situation affecting the purchasing power of citizens.

“If you ask most traders, they will confirm to you that the era of high patronage has long been forgotten and that sales had been dull for some years. Many of the customers just come to the market for sightseeing and most of them complain of lack of money and usually price goods below the cost price,” Yunusa said.

They appealed to the federal government to be decisive in dealing with the worsening economic situation in the country.

Kwara

When our correspondent visited the Yoruba road market close to many of the government offices, banks and phone sellers around 4:00 pm, traders and marketers complained of low sales and high prices of goods despite the improvement in the exchange rate.

According to Mrs Eniola Ayomide, sales are low, people are complaining that there is no money.

“Today, what I sold most were spices and ingredients and I believe the customers are trying to manage what they have for the celebration. A small pack of semo is N2,900 and a paint rubber of rice is N2,500. I think people are spending wisely because of the economy.

On her part, Alhaja Alake who sells rice, beans and garri amongst other grains told our correspondent that “Sales are low and customers have turned to garri and other grains for Zakatul Fitr because of the comparative price advantage”.

On her part, a customer and senior lecturer in the University of Ilorin who simply identified herself as Dr Aisha, said the prices of foodstuffs and other commodities have remained on the high side despite robust reduction in naira to dollar compared to before. He advised the government to set up a task force.

A pepper and tomato seller, Iya Roqeeba Alata, said “There is no money and the situation in the market is a stark reality of the whole situation. Initially, the market would have been a beehive of activities with customers entering and leaving the market in droves but the opposite is the case very close to Sallah.”

She called on the government to get their economics and commerce policies right to save the masses who bear the hardship most. 

Benue

Traders in some markets in Benúe State decried low patronage on the eve of Sallah celebration across the country.

At the Wadata Market in Makurdi metropolis, the traders said they were generally witnessing low sales compared to same period last year.

Hassana Audu, a fish seller, said she was getting low patronage because the buyers do not have enough money to make big purchases.

A tomato buyer, Christy Terdue, lamented that the prices of goods were in no way affordable so she was picking only essential items for her household.

Our correspondent however observed that buyers dominated the tomatoes, meat, chicken and fish sections of the market more than the clothing items or any other side of the market.

A Muslim faithful, Ibrahim Shehu, who sells wrappers however told our correspondent that his household will celebrate the Sallah in a low key due to hardship.

Traders lament low patronage in Lagos

In Lagos, our correspondents report that there was low patronage in markets visited.

At Agege Main market, Chidinma Ihakam, a trader said, “Things are not really moving well, people are not buying. Both the rice and oil, even fish and tomatoes, people are not buying. We are having low sales because people don’t have money.”

A meat seller, Sodiq, also complained that the market situation is not encouraging.

At the market, a check by our correspondent indicated that a bag of foreign rice costs N83,000. 

A food stuff seller, James said, “Nothing is happening. I don’t even think there is Sallah ahead. Last year, it was far, far better.”

An onion seller, Abdulrahman Aminu also complained of low sale, saying in pidgin, “Market na small, small, market no dey move like before.”

Balogun Lukmon, a meat seller at Iyana-Ipaja Market, expressed worry over low patronage, attributing it to the country’s economy.

He recalled that his business witnessed high patronage during the eve of Eid-el-Fitri celebration last year but experienced low patronage this year.

He said the price of a cow leg ranges from N100,000 to N130,000 last year but this year, it has increased to N290,000 to N300,000.

“Things are very expensive and it is really affecting my business. A portion of meat I used to sell N1,500 last year is now N3,000. Although people still buy, the quantity has dropped,” he added.

 

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