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Lagos Markets Record Low Patronage After New Year Celebration

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Business activities in many parts of Lagos are yet to pick up after the New Year.

Our correspondent who monitored activities last Thursday reports that markets and the business districts in the metropolis were devoid of the characteristic hustle and bustle.

Most stalls in Balogun, Idumota, Ojugoro, Gorodomu and Oshodi main markets were locked, while the few traders that opened their stalls for trade recorded low patronage.

Mrs Anifat Oyekunle, Secretary, Lace Sellers Association, Balogun market, told our correspondent that the low patronage was the usual experience at this time of the year.

“The low patronage we experience shortly after the New Year is an annual thing.

“The sales boom we experience shortly before Christmas and New Year festivities is usually followed by a seemingly sales drought.

“It seems people spend so much money during the festivities without having a reserve for business transactions early in the year,” she said.

Also, Alhaja Kikelomo Goriola, the Vice President, Provision Sellers Association, Idumota, said that many traders did not open their stalls because they travelled out of Lagos to celebrate the festive season with their relations.

Meanwhile, traders dealing in school uniforms, stationery, school bags and shoes recorded remarkable sales in markets visited by our correspondent.

Mr Henry Okoro, a shopper at the Oshodi main market, told our correspondent that many parents were buying school items for their children and wards, in preparation for resumption.

At the Mile 12 market, however, it was business as usual as traders and shoppers were seen transacting business with the regular hustle and bustle.

Mrs Iyabode Junaid, Secretary, Pepper Sellers Association, Mile 12, told our correspondent that the low sales that characterised other markets after the New Year day did not extend to foodstuffs.

“We usually do not experience sales drought early in the year because we sell foodstuffs at Mile 12.

“People will always patronise us, whether they are buoyant or not, because food is essential for everybody; they cannot do without eating,’’ Junaid said.

She also said that the prices of commodities in the market had remained stable and was usually increased during festivities.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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