Christmas: Traders Groan over Low Patronage

Less than three days away from Christmas day, some foodstuffs sellers in Port Harcourt have complained of the low sales they are experiencing.

The traders who spoke with City News Port Harcourt on Tuesday said the situation is frustrating.

They spoke when our team visited some markets at Eneka, Eliozu, Rumuokwurusi and Rumuekini axis of Port Harcourt .
One of the traders at Eneka First Market told our correspondent that, "this Christmas doesn't feel like Christmas".

Mrs Gloria said, "The prices of things have increased, and people cannot afford these things and that is why the sales have reduced drastically".

Another trader identified as Mrs. Promise said the situation is quite unusual. She said it would seem many families are managing the little they have at home.

"We should have gone home by this time in other years. Especially now that it is Christmas, but people are not buying and that is why it is ten o'clock and we are still here, it is very unusual," she said.

Chichi who sells fish said the lockdown during the first phase of the Corona virus pandemic has contributed largely to the scarcity of cash in circulation. She said people are only just beginning to recover from their loses. 

"The lockdown is a great contributor to this low sales and hardship we are facing. Sometimes you but something and can't sell because the people can't afford them anymore. This year people have to accept that Christmas is like other days. Things are hard. That's the only consolation", she said.

The traders expressed hope that sales will improve before Christmas Day.

A mum who we met purchasing some food stuffs at the Eliozu market axis blamed the situation on the prevailing recession. She said low income earners like her hubby have to decide whether saving for rents and school fees is less important than eating fat this Christmas. 

She added that her kids with make due with whatever they can provide during the Yuletide.

Meanwhile a survey carried out by our team showed that live chickens are now being sold between N3000 and N7000 depending the size. 

A crate of fresh tomatoes at Rumukwurusi markets is being sold for N3500 while a basket is N12000.