Traders at the popular Dosumu and Balogun markets, of Idumota, Lagos Island on Friday expressed optimism over the sales of goods as the Yuletide and New Year celebrations approach.
Iya Oloja, Irewolede Modern Market Idumota, Mrs Kudirat Owowale, told NAN that in spite of a 30 per cent decline recorded in the sales of textile, there was still hope, as sales were expected to soar by weekend till the incoming year.
She attributed the decline to border closure, foreign exchange rate and a lull in economic activities.
Owowale urged that disbursement of intervention funds as released be closely monitored to ensure that grassroots textile dealers benefit maximally.
“This year is not good at all as we have recorded a 30 per cent decline due to the reduction of money in circulation, border closure and foreign currency issues.
“Our major customers from Ghana cannot come in to buy from us and even when we buy, the exchange rate is high and we also have to pay additional charges for air travel since land has become quite difficult,” she said.
According to her, the market will move if there is a change in the present situation.
Another textile trader, Mr Lateef Babamole, while comparing the sales of this year with the last two years, said this year was worse in terms of purchase.
He attributed the lack of purchases to the difficulty in accessing the ports, a drop in economic activities and poverty in the land.
“Last year was better because by this time, we know what we had recorded.
“We have no access to get our luggage from the ports for the past one month.
“Our shops are empty, we cannot do festive seasons purchases and sales.
“This is festive season but it does not feel like it and it is very painful and disappointing,” he said.
However, it was better fortunes for sellers of children clothing.
A dealer in children’s wears, Mr Kamal Aiyedun, told NAN that his sales recorded an increase of about 60 per cent when compared with that of last year.
Aiyedun, however, said more sales would have been recorded if not for the increase in the prices of the wears due to the border closure.
He disclosed that wears that had last year cost N3, 000 now go for N3, 500.
He also pleaded for ease of access to loans and grant by the federal government to help sustain their business and increase their contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy.
“Last week was worse but this week is better, quite better than last year by 60 per cent, as even though adults wear what they have, clothes must be bought for children.
“But, due to the border closure, the items increased in price.
“Also, our buyers from Mali, Togo, Benin Republic were unable to access the market and it has affected us greatly.
“We heard about the intervention fund last year but after all our efforts, we could not access the loan.
“We ask for funds intervention loan and promise to return it back as and when due,” he said.
A hamper dealer of almost 20 years under Apongbon bridge, Mrs Esther Yusuf, said sales dropped by 50 per cent due to paucity of funds and a reduction in the standard of living.
“There has been a drop in purchasing power as those that used to buy N10,000 worth cannot afford same this year.
“However, we are hopeful that by Christmas and before the New year, we would have sold off most of the baskets,” she said.
On reports that most hampers were filled with nearly expired items, Yusuf said that things sold at the axis were inspected and regulated by the market leaders within the jurisdiction.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the biggest hamper inclusive of a table top cooking gas and other household consumables costs N30, 000 , the medium sized ones cost between N10,000 and N20,000 while the smallest sold for N5,000.