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‘Fear of another lockdown causing low Christmas shopping’

By Kudirat Adenola and Precious Akpos
24 December 2020   |   4:16 am
A day to Christmas, traders are not smiling to the banks when their hands are expected to be full with shopping activities. While they are lamenting low patronage, buyers are beating a retreat due to hike in prices of goods and low disposable income...

Shopping for Christmas at Tejuosho Market, Lagos…PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

A day to Christmas, traders are not smiling to the banks when their hands are expected to be full with shopping activities. While they are lamenting low patronage, buyers are beating a retreat due to hike in prices of goods and low disposable income. For consumers, the reality of using the amount budgeted for three or more items to purchase only one leaves them frustrated.
 
A trader at Aswani Market, Isolo, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ola, said the government should roll out urgent intervention to cushion the plight of the masses rather than pushing policies that would further cause hardship.
   
“With the ways things are going, I wonder how January will be. Everywhere is so dry and people are complaining of no money. A responsive government would have worked towards reducing the high cost of food items to make citizens enjoy the Christmas and new year celebrations,” she said.

 
Another trader, Emeka Ngozi, said people refused to buy goods for Christmas because they were saving the little money they have for a possible lockdown.
  
“What we are hearing now is second wave of COVID-19. With the numbers released by the NCDC, people are afraid of another long stay at home. Another lockdown will be harsh this time with the recession we are already experiencing,” she said.
 
A foodstuff trader, Mrs Ade Shade, bemoaned that she was in a fix because she borrowed money to stock up for Christmas sales, but the turnout had been so poor, leaving her frustrated.
 
“We all know the year has been tough with coronavirus and #EndSARS protests, but I had hoped things would get better with new year sales. With a week to 2021, it’s more debts for me as I need to dispose of these wares by January at giveaway prices so I don’t lose out completely.
 
“I have not had it bad since I can remember. I haven’t been making sales and I need to pay my house rent, and also pay back the money I borrowed.