BY Ijeoma Ndubisi
Abuja – With few hours before the New Year, most markets and Departmental Stores in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have recorded poor sales
This was against the huge sales recorded before the Christmas as residents rushed to make last minute preparations for the celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) checks at the ever crowded Wuse, Utako, Kubwa and Dutse markets witnessed very few residents making last minute purchase in preparation for the New Year.
Mr Salisu Dauda, a gold-smith dealer in Wuse market said that most people who came to the market during the Christmas season had purchased what they needed for both celebrations.
“Most times people don’t necessarily come to the market for Christmas and New Year celebrations separately.
“People purchase what they will need for the two; you notice that people buying clothes, shoes or any wears at all buy it in pairs and they can also decide to use the same for the two,” he said.
He also said that food items bought during the Christmas season was probably preserved for the New Year celebration.
Dauda noted that buyers who came to the markets were majorly people who never cared about any celebration and purchased their daily needs.
Mrs Florence Nnadi, a footwear seller at Utako market said that the New Year was being celebrated globally between Christians, Muslims and other religions.
According to Nnadi, so many people have their way of waiting for and celebrating the New Year and for that they close down their businesses to observe it.
“You should know that the New Year is marked by everybody and different people have their way of celebrating.
“So many people have travelled to their home towns, while some are just indoors to observe a yearly practice carried out within the family,” she said.
Mr Johnson Leramoh, a food stuff seller in Kubwa market, said that 60 per cent of the businesses in the markets were owned by a particular tribe that would have travelled for the period.
“We know most of the times that many businesses in markets like this is owned by the Igbo people and they are people that like travelling for the festive season.
“Most times they want to stay around to make sales for the Christmas then travel for the New Year, because many of them have this end of year family, extended family and kinsmen meeting.
“When you take your count, you will realise that it is majorly their shops that are locked, the few that are around maybe don’t really have the money to travel,” he said.
Leramoh also said that most families preferred to celebrate the Christmas elaborately but the New Year in a low key, adding that they could not afford to spend much money with the harsh economic situation in the country.
Ahmed Garba, a vegetable and fruits seller in Dutse market, said he made more sales few days before the Christmas.
Garba noted that most people had travelled to their home towns to celebrate the New Year, adding that it was a regular occurrence every year.
Mrs Sunkamni Olugbenga, a frozen foods dealer in Dutse market pointed out that she sold all the stock of fish, chicken and other items she had during the Christmas.
“Few days to Christmas, I was even stranded that I might not have stock to sell to my customers because the rush was too much.
“We are just few hours to the New Year and I made sure I have enough to sell this time, but it is not looking like what we had during the Christmas.
“I feel most people have travelled, while the people coming to market definitely did not travel and may be held down by their jobs,” Olugbenga said.
NAN also observed that shopping malls like Park and Shop that slashed their prices for the Christmas did not do same for the New Year.
Most shops in plazas and around the territory were closed as against the Christmas that most of them were opened to customers.