New Naira Notes: FCT Market Women Decry Low Patronage
Market women in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have decried low patronage, attributing it to poor circulation of the new naira notes.
The women told The Tide source in Abuja that the situation had affected their trade adversely.
The source, who visited some of the markets, reports that most of the women had resorted to collecting transfers to enable them make sales, especially those of them selling perishable items.
According to reports, the naira scarcity has made some of the market women, who hitherto did not have bank accounts to open one.
At the Garki International Modern Market, Ngozi Kalu, who sells food items, said she had not sold anything for almost two days as her customers complained that they do not have cash and she did not have a bank account.
“When customers come, they complain that they do not have cash to pay and ask if they can transfer.
“I do not have a bank account, so if they do not have the cash to pay me, they go somewhere else to try.
“That is how I have missed so many sales for two days. I wish I had a bank account”, she said.
Another trader simply known as Mama Victor said she had recorded little sales, because she had a bank account buyers were able to transfer to her account.
“Some customers come and ask if they can transfer, so I give them my account number.
“That is the only way I have been making sales because there is no money anywhere. Even the PoS operators do not have money.”
At the Wuse Market, Mrs Sarah Benjamin said, “before if you come to my place at this time I would have made a lot of sales and you will see people buying carrots, peas, pepper, etc, but today is not like that.
“Many customers say they do not have cash to pay. One of the customers who did transfer was debited but the money has not reflected in my account, that is another challenge”, she said.
Hannah John, who sells perishable items, however, applauded the Federal Government’s cashless policy, saying it would make more women open bank accounts.
“I am happy about what the government is doing because customers are paying money directly to my account so I will go back home carrying very little cash on me”, she said.
2023 Election: Food, Drinks Boom At Polling Units
As voters await their turns to make choices on who to occupy the presidential seat of power in the nation for the next four years, smart entrepreneurs who sell food, drinks and water made brisk money in addition to casting of votes.
Cueing up under the hot sun to cast votes provided opportunities for others to make money as hunger and taste sets in.
A food saler at lwofe, Mrs Chidinma Obialor told The Tide that the election has created opportunity for her to make money from her business.
Mrs. Obialor said people left their houses very early to take numbers at the polling unit and have no alternatives than to patronise her business to avoid fainting.
“No matter how scarce cash is, food is a priority for any human being who wants to continue living. I know l will make a lot of sales today, so l prepared for it”, she said.
She also noted that water sells more than food, as those who do not have enough money to eat buy water to hold themselves till they are done voting.
Another entrepreneur, Mrs Ozioma Uchendu, who sells the local zobo drink and water, said her efforts to prepare the zobo drink in addition to water paid off, adding that, “standing on a cue for a long time makes one’s throat to dry up and that is where l am needed.
“I have not seen this number of crowd since l started coming out here to vote. This year’s election pulled crowd but it is unfortunate that the BVAS in our station, Apaogodo Rumuepirikon, Unit 006, Rumueme (7A) refused to work till 1 pm.
She noted that more than 680 voters were disenfranchised, as the officials shot down by 7pm when the crowd have not voted.
Uchendu noted that her being there since morning would have been so painful but for the money she made in selling her drinks, “which is my consolation for spending the whole day here”.
She reiterated the need for Nigeria to grow up, adding that the citizens were thinking that INEC will get it right this time around but, “it is the same old story, no single change in the process instead it is worse.
Another voter, who pleaded anonymity said the process is nothing but betrayal of trust.
“Nigerians want to continue the suffering, if not, there would have been a firm decision by all not to be used to pervert the process. I wonder what will ever make me to come out from my house again to participate in the voting process”, he said.
By: Lilian Peters
Naira Scarcity: Traders Reduce Prices For Cash
Some traders in various markets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have reduced the prices of their goods for customers paying with cash to enable them to make sales.
The traders who spoke with The Tide’s source in Abuja, in some markets in the FCT, complained that their inability to get cash with which to purchase goods to stock their shops made them to decide to give discounts to customers buying their goods with cash.
They appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make concerted efforts to address the lingering cash crunch to prevent a total collapse of economic activities.
A meat seller at Lugbe Market, Mr Innocent Agu, told The Tide’s source that he decided to give discount to those buying goods from him with cash as he needs money to buy cows.
Agu said although a kilo of meat was sold for N3,000, he could afford to sell the same volume of meat for N2, 800 “because it is not easy to get money from the bank.
“However, for those buying meat by transferring money to my account, I sell at N3,500 per kilo as I have to pay some charges to the Point of Sale (POS) operator who will give me the money.
“I prefer collecting cash because those selling cows in the bush do not have bank accounts. So we take our money there to buy from them”, he explained.
Malam Adamu Abubakar, a trader who sells rice and beans at Lugbe market, said a measure of beans sells for N750 “but if I see a customer who has cash, I can sell for N600.
“It is difficult to get cash and for that reason, l do not transact business using bank transfer.
“So for those paying with cash, I am ready to reduce the price so that I can sell the commodity before it gets spoilt”, he said.
Another trader at the Garki Market, Malam Ahmed Aliyu, who sells tomatoes, said a small basket of tomatoes goes for between N1,000 to N1,200.
He added that if he were to get somebody willing to pay cash, he could sell the same basket of tomatoes for N800.
Aliyu said tomatoes are perishable goods and could not be kept for a long time, hence he was ready to reduce the price in order to prevent or at least minimise losses.
“I would rather reduce the price at which I sell tomatoes than allow them to go bad”, he said.
Another trader, a vegetables seller at the Garki Market, Mrs Oluchi Ogbonna, said she sells the commodity cheaply because they could not be kept for long.
Ogbonna said before now, she sold a wrap of pumpkin leaves (Ugu) for N200, but now sells the same wrap for N150 or N100 to be able to go back to the market and restock her stall.
“I cannot collect money by transfer of N200. So I sell cheaply so that people can buy them quickly as they are perishable goods”, she said.
Another trader, Mrs Titilayo Olufemi, who deals on clothing materials at Wuse Market, said since the cash scarcity began, she had not made any sales.
Olufemi said nobody wanted to buy clothes as what everyone is after is how to feed themselves and their families.
LAPO Supports Farmers, Rural Dwellers With N70bn Loans
The Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says it disbursed N70 billion credit facility to farmers, entrepreneurs and rural dwellers between 2007 and 2022.
The Executive Director, LAPO, Dr Honestus Obadiora, said the loans were disbursed to 262,977 farmers and entrepreneurs under the LAPO Agricultural and Rural Development Initiative (LARDI).
Obadiora, who said this at an Annual Media Forum recently in Benin, said the loans were disbursed to farmers in LAPO’s 303 branches across 22 states of the federation.
He said under the LARDI programme, N23.5 billion was disbursed to improve the livelihood of rural farmers and also support micro businesses between January and December 2022.
He expressed delight that the loans had improved the productivity, income the standard of living of the beneficiaries and contributed to rural agricultural development.
Obadiora said LARDI had also helped in improving availability of inputs for improved farm yield, building the capacity of rural farmers and business owners through on farm demonstrations, workshop and training programmes.
“The mandate of LARDI is to improve income, food security and general living conditions of rural households, particularly women-headed households, youths and their businesses.
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