Recession: Markets, Recreation Hubs, Transport In Abuja Record Low Patronage | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Abuja Business

Recession: Markets, Recreation Hubs, Transport In Abuja Record Low Patronage

Posted: Sep 14, 2016 at 4:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Nicholas Uwerunnonye,



Economic crunch occasioned by the current recession in the country apparently marred prospects for good business during the Ed – Kabir festivity for many players in the commercial sector in the federal capital territory,  FCT.

Federal government last week declared Monday and Tuesday, this week, as public holidays to mark the Muslim festivity.
Federal government in August declared that the country is in recession, an economic term that applies when a country records two consecutive negative growth.
The crunch in Nigeria has been marked with the free fall of naira the national currency; massive divestment from the economy, spiking inflation especially in the area of essential commodities.

State governments are worse hit by the crunch. State workers are owed salaries in arrears; local council workers are worst hit; some have not been paid this year at all. While this may not be the case with FCT, the hard times are felt nevertheless.
Independent’s survey carried out over the weekend, however, established that rather than felicitations and celebration normally associated with such periods, bleakness and melancholy marked complaints during the period, especially from business men and traders in the FCT.

“Things have never been this bad, I can tell you,” stated Gamiu Babangida, driver, Niger State Transport Service, NSTS, who operates from Suleja, suburb of the FCT but located in Niger.
Suleja is a transit hub for travellers wishing to connect Minna, Kotangora, Ilorin, Ibadan and many other destinations from Abuja. Festive period is usually a busy period for transport operators.

“As I speak to you, we have not made even a quarter of what we used to make despite not adding a dime to the transport fare as we normally do, ” stated Babangida.
Perhaps capturing the reason why commuters have been relatively scarce, Babatunde Abdulrahaman, civil servant, attached to the Ministry of works, power and housing, told our correspondent that things have been hard.

“The economy has pushed many to their elastic limit, ” he explained. Pointing to his luggage at the Suleja motor park, he explained to the newspaper that the packages don’t belong entirely to him.
“Some of my colleagues at the office contributed tokens to facilitate my trip. As payment, I am supposed to help take their packages to their respective relatives in Ilorin because they can’t make it for lack of money,” explained Abdulraham.
Traders in Abuja share similar experience. They say that business is bad because purchasing power of their customers have been affected by the times.
“Sales have been poor. Nobody is even asking to buy on credit even when we are ready to offer it, “stated Chinasa Ibe, a trader in Wuse market in Abuja.

On Monday when our correspondent visited the market, there was hardly any indication that there was festivity in the air.

Explaining, Ibe said that the market ought to be bubbling even by that day.
Recreation facilities and entertainment hubs are not left out in experiencing miserable patronage in the FCT. Millennium Park, FCTs biggest recreation hub also marked low turnout of visitors. A photographer (commercial), used to plying his trade at the park told the newspaper that patronage by visitors has been low.

“They all complain of lack of money, ” he said.