Some traders told the the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that porters had become an integral micro business in markets in spite of its stressful nature.
Mrs Salimot Ajao, a wholesale trader in household wares at Idumota market, said that the porters on a good or bad day, earn about N1,200 daily.
“But you know, your neighbor can sell, while you may not, so they get to offload and assist customers to move their goods to the bus and get paid immediately.
“On a good day, they make between N2,000 and N3,200 daily without paying shop rent, maintenance or accummulating debts,’’ Ajao said.
Mr Shekoni Lawal, another trader at Oyingbo foodstuff market, said that porters who largely assisted in the movement of goods were making market activities easier.
“This is a market where people buy things in bulk, hotel suppliers and restaurant owners all come here and the porters are highly needed always.
“Their job is stressful but unless they fall sick, they make money every day unlike those of us shop owners here, they sometimes make money than some traders, especially the small-scale traders.
“They can make up to N2,000 in a day, and even more, that is at least N60,000 monthly, which is more than the salaries of some graduates in Nigeria,’’ Lawal said.
Mr Yusuf Abdul, a market leader in Ebute-Ero market, Lagos Island, observed that most of the porters in the markets on the Island are women.
He said young women have taken over the business in their quest to earn decent income.
“Although these people make money, I can never allow my wife to be involved in carrying heavy loads for money.
“We noticed that most of the people doing this job are women, but they are not to be blamed because some of them are widows or single mothers or those with jobless husbands.
“Each time I see them, I always wish there was a machine that can do the job, but I don’t think that is possible for now.
“I only wish women could be discouraged from the business, they should do less stressful work’’ he said.
Also speaking, Mr Lawal Suleimon, one of the market leaders in Ojuwoye market, Mushin, said that the porters all over the markets were supervised and monitored.
Suleimon said that they are only made to pay a token as tax, just like hawkers and cart pushers, but generally, make a lot of money offloading and transferring goods within the market.
“Don’t be fooled by their dirty looks, some of them have started their housing projects in their villages with the money they make here,’’ he said.
One of the lady porters at Balogun market, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she made about N1,500 daily on a bad day and N2,000 on a good day.
She said that in spite of the stressful nature of the carrying heavy loads that job is lucrative.
“Without us, activities will not move well in the market and no matter how stressful this job is, it is better than stealing or remaining idle,’’ she said. (NAN)
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