As Muslims across the world mark the end of Ramadan with the celebration of Eid-el-fitr, traders in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have decried low sales, which most of the described as unusual.
LEADERSHIP reporters who visited major markets in the metropolis report that the celebration, if the low customer turn-out witnessed in the markets is anything to go by.
It was observed that Wuse Market which is usually a beehive of activity was devoid of its usual hustle and bustle as most shops in the market were empty, while some of the traders were holding prayer sessions.
A cross-section of Muslim faithful who spoke with our reporters attributed the situation to the lack of money in circulation.
One of them, who gave her name Hajiya said the prices of foodstuffs had not changed.
She said, “There is no major increase in food prices as it regards the celebrations.”
An Islamic cleric who craved anonymity said the main practice during this sallah, was the distribution of foodstuffs to the less-privilege by those who were better off so that they would not be left out of the celebration.
A meat seller at Wuse Market, Hassan, attributed the low sales to the present economic situation in the country and added that it had forced prospective customers to manage the little they had at home during the period.
He said, “The truth is that the sales have not been impressive. I bought a lot of meat today in anticipation of huge sales but since I got to the market the reverse has been the case. I can count the number of people that have visited my shop. When people come and I tell them the price of a kilogram of meat, they just walk away.”
A shoe seller at Wuse Market, Mr. Simon Ede, remarked that this year’s Eid-el-Fitr was the worst he had ever witnessed since he came to the FCT.
“If not that I’m waiting for feedback from someone I sent on an errand, I would have left the market for Gwarimpa because there are no sales. During previous celebrations, we would be so overwhelmed with customers that we even mis-pair shoes sometimes but it’s a different story now. Everywhere is so dry that you’ll begin to wonder if there is any celebration at all,” Ede said.
A jewelry dealer, Ibrahim Mustapha opined that the poor sales could be attributed to the lack of cash in circulation.
He said, “Sales were good last Sallah. People were just throwing money around, maybe because elections were by the corner and politicians were doling out money to impress and woo voters but it is not the same story now.”
Foodstuffs sellers were not spared the customer drought either, as LEADERSHIP spotted most of them sitting down idly, waiting for customers.
There was no significant increase in the prices of foodstuffs as a basket of tomatoes which was previously sold at N1200 was sold at N800, while live birds which were sold for N1200 were now N1500.
A tomatoes seller at Kubwa Village Market, Augusta Isong, expressed disappointment over low sales of her wares, saying she was witnessing the worst sales during Sallah throughout her sojourn in the business.