MOST of the clothes and Shoe sellers in Onitsha, Anambra State, are recording heavy loses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Newden visited Onitsha Main Market, and observed that most of the traders were either found in groups chatting away hard time or sitting idly in their shops.
Apart from very few traders, most of those interviewed said they had to struggle to make one sale in a day contrary to pre-COVID-19 era when they made profits from regular sales.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had there was 65 percent decline in federal government’s revenue inflow in the first half of the year and at Onitsha, the clothes and shoes traders seem to have found themselves in a heavier profit decline arising from bad business.
The unhappy traders noted that the absence of students from schools has made the situation worse, given that they got major patronage from them, appealed to the government to put adequate modalities in place to reopen schools to save them from hunger.
Mrs. Ebele Onyekwelu who sells second-hand clothing and shoes, said that the scarcity of patronage and the pressure to put food on the table have forced her to sell at prices lower than usual.
Mr. Kenechukwu Obuana and Mr. Charles Ezeh, who sell shoes, said the hike in the costs of buying from manufacturers has affected sales at retail level, given that customers hardly acknowledge the change in price.
Mr. Kenneth Madu who also deals on shoes at the Eke-Awka Market, appealed to the government to either reopen schools or cut down levies and taxes for traders judging by the obvious economic difficulty of the period.
The case is, however, different for Mr. Okwudili Odoh, shoes and clothes shop owner in the same market, who disclosed that despite the present difficulties, business has been smooth and profitable, while Mr. Lawrence Igwe, a tailor in the market, who argued differently, noted that unlike before, when his shop was kept busy by the influx of customers, the present situation has been hard due to lack of patronage.
BY SUNNY A. DAVID