According to some vendors that are selling foods at Lagos metropolis, the lockdown is really affecting their sales at market, despite this Ramadan time.
These people lamented the shortfall in their sales of foods during this Ramadan, which is due to the lockdown in the State. They said many people who used to patronize them did not show up to buy food for Iftar and Sahur (breaking of fast and early hour meal).
We also observed that not many of the food sellers engage in the brisk business this year due to the fear of what lockdown may cause in the market.
Usually, between 3:00am – 6:00am, the Lagos streets are busy with food vendors preparing dishes. Some men who don’t have wives at home do patronize them for food. The food vendors are also the toast of some couples who find it difficult to wake up in the early hour, and start cooking food.
One of the food vendors, Mrs. Folashade Ayoola, who sells food in Lagos island, said she has been incurring debts due to the wastage of meals. According to her, some of the foods were wasted because of the poor sales.
She said, “We bought foodstuffs and pepper at a higher price in the market, with the hope that we will make good sales from those who are fasting, but the reverse is the case. People are not forthcoming like the previous Ramadan”.
“I did not sell half of what I prepared for people to break the fast. We had to eat part of it during Sahur and threw away the remaining,” she added.
Another food seller at Ilasamaja, Mushin, who also identified herself as Ajimoh, blamed the outbreak of Coronavirus on the poor sales.
Ajimoh, who is popularly known as “Gbele-pawo”, told the Nation that, she may stop cooking food for people who want to break their fast if the situation persists.
According to her, “How much are we making that we continue to incur loss everyday. Since the beginning of Ramadan, I have been wasting the food due to low patronage. The sales at the beginning of this year’s Ramadan are the worst I have ever witnessed so far.
“I have being in this business for years, and I have not witness something like this in the past,” She said.
She rounded it up by praying that the sales would improve.
Also, Mama Aisha, a food vendor in Oshodi, bemoaned the drop in the sales.
She said people were complaining of lack of money to buy food.
According to her, “You know, people have been at home for almost a month. Some have lost their job in the process. Those who are still working don’t have access to get to their workplaces. I understand the situation at hand, but I don’t think it will get to this level. The sales are pathetic,” Mama Aisha said.
She also added by calling on government to give bailout to Nigerians.
“Government need to pump money into the economy. The idea of giving N5,000 to vulnerable is not working. Many people who have jobs are practically vulnerable because they don’t have money to buy the food,” she said