Facemask vendors in Kaduna metropolis have expressed worry over decline in sales of the item, saying the dwindling patronage is gradually forcing them out of the market.
Checks conducted yesterday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna showed a number of vendors, who sell on traffic, had taken to hawking other products to make ends meet.
Some have resolved to sell other petty commodities like rechargeable lamps, umbrellas, snacks among others.
A hawker, Salisu Ibrahim, who hawks around station roundabout, regretted that even with the government’s enforcement on the use of facemasks, patronage had dropped.
He stated that although the members of the public were aware of the punitive measures on non-compliance to the law, many still do not use it while others had learnt to produce it locally, adding many resorted to making their facemasks because of the economic situation in the country.
“This has led to the downturn witnessed in the patronage and has forced lots of hawkers to channel their hustle to other commodities that are in constant demand,” he added.
Another hawker, Mallam Yahuza Yaro, who sells on Independence way, told NAN he had to revert to sales of room and car fresheners since he witnessed a decline in sales of facemasks.
“Some of us actually made good money from sales of facemasks during the heat of Coronavirus pandemic but presently, the demand has declined even while the virus still lingers.
“So many motorists, who patronised us the most, now have more than one facemask in their cars,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mallam Zubeiru Hassan, who sells on WAF Road axis, disclosed that with the profit he made from sales of facemasks, he was able to cater for his family’s needs during the lockdown but regretted the tide had changed.
“Few months back especially in the past year, I made a daily turnover of at least, N1,000 enough to cater for a day’s need.
“Nowadays, you could go a whole day without selling a single facemask and that’s why you find us hawking additional wares like wristwatches, perfumes among others,” he disclosed.
A civil servant, Mr Danjuma Aliyu, residing in Sabo, corroborated the hawkers’ claim, saying he had stocked the clinically treated facemasks enough for himself and members of his family besides the complementary masks from his office.
“I can’t remember when last I bought a facemask in the traffic because I still have spare ones in my house,” he said.