Saturday, December 17, 2016 2:56 pm
By Jennifer Okundia
Traders in Lagos have been lamenting the drastic low patronage of items and products at their stores even as Christmas is about a week away.
Some traders who spoke to TheNEWS revealed that there has been a sharp decline in trading activities in Berger market and other areas known for high trading in this Yuletide season.
In separate interviews, Mr Basil Onwudiwe, a shoe seller said ”business was not really booming as it was supposed to be since exchange rate has skyrocketed.” He lamented that a pair of shoes which sold for N3,000 the previous year remains at the same price and that the extra profit he would have added on top of his selling price, had been used to settle custom officials. Onwudiwe also said sometimes he even reduces his selling price so as to avoid not selling at all since customers are not willing to buy expensive items, attributing the low patronage to economic recession.
Also, Mrs Iyabo Ajayi, who sells hair products at wholesale prices including attachment, both human and synthetic weavon e.t.c said people were shying away because of the difficulty in the country.
“As at last year, expression attachment sold for N350-N400 but today one goes for N900. Although it is expensive, people still buy from me because we too are buying it.
Iyabo said “the main items that are really not moving in my shop is all these human hair. These days people prefer to buy one attachment and do big Ghana weaving as it is cheaper, instead of buying expensive weavon”.
An electronic seller who simply wanted to be referred to as Mrs Michael complained bitterly, stating that a reading lamp which cost N1,500 in 2015 now sells for N2,200.
“Last year was better. We did not sell much but people were coming, little by little, to demand for electronics.
“This year is terrible, I find it difficult to even buy let alone sell as the products are too expensive from the place where we buy. I have not sold anything since morning she said”.
Mrs Titi Akinwunmi, who sells Ankara, lace and other clothing materials, also mentioned that selling of clothes has become “a no go area’’ this year because it would be exorbitant for people.
“It has become an essential commodity because things have gone up.
Also a civil servant, Mr Tony Udeh, said that parents would have been buying Christmas clothes for their children but no money. “The economic recession is hitting people hard’’ Udeh said.
Mr Emmanuel Bassey, an artisan, said that he was concerned with how to buy rice and other food stuffs this yuletide for his family, not clothes and that even though food items have become very expensive, people will still manage to buy the small they can afford”.