Barely 24 hours to celebrate this year’s Ramadan festival, traders in some markets in Lagos State have expressed worries over the low turn-out of customers.
The traders who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday, attributed the situation to the economic condition in the country.
NAN reports that most of the Federal Government workers received their August salaries on Friday.
It would also be recalled that the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngosi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Wednesday that President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered expedited payment of August salaries to enable Nigerians celebrate the festival.
Mrs Mary Nwachukwu, a dealer on children's clothing at the Balogun Market, said that the economic recession in the country had affected her sales, adding that 2011 was better than 2012.
``I expect to make better sales after borrowing money from relatives to put goods in the shop, but reverse is the case because of the unstable economy in the country, ``Nwachukwu said.
She said that most Nigerians would first think of providing foods for their family before coming to the markets to buy clothes for their wards.
Nwachukwu said that the expectation of most of the traders ahead of festival was high, but the situation of the economy has shattered their hopes.
She noted that the price of children’s clothes had changed marginally due to lack of money in circulation.
Another trader at Mushin market who sells chickens, Mrs Bola Martins, said that the main cause of low patronage was a result of persistent increase in unemployment rate and rising standard of living.
Martins said that many Nigerians could not afford to put food on their table thrice daily not to talk of buying chickens for the festival, adding that most people live below poverty level.
She said that price of a chicken in July was between N1,500 to N1,800, but now a chicken sells for N2,000 and N2,500, depending on its size.
``It is really unfortunate that sales do not turn out as expected, but l hope that as time progresses, sales might get better.''
Mrs Funmi Akinyemi, a wine seller at Oshodi market, said that the sales are low as a result of difficulty in the country, adding that the nation was experiencing a downward trend.
She said the prices of most of the drinks had gone up due to the festive period but customers were also not coming as expected.
Akinyemi said that people were selective with what they buy in the market due to scarcity of resources within the economy, which also affects sales of the traders. NAN