Ramadan which is a blessed month for the Muslims to fast and get closer to their God, by refraining from food, drinks and some other activities, happened to be of disadvantage to food vendors across the Lagos metropolis. And here are the lamentations of some of the food vendors around Mushin and Itire Axis. Taibat Idowu reports
As the holy month, is approaching its ends, the experiences of food vendors during this period has been terrible. According to them, there haven’t been sales since Ramadan fast began and this has made them to cook half of their usual cooking rotten.
Food vendors also create another strategy to attract more customers and more time for their Muslim customers to shop. For a fried yam seller, Mrs. BasiratOlowokere, alongFataiAtere road, who is on her12years of trading there, expressed her experience in this year fasting. “This Ramadan really affects me, it even cost me more, in the sense that the cost of things in the market are at the high side. This year’s Ramadan is even the worst, you have to bulky your belt , otherwise I won’t make profit and if we decided to seat at home, it won’t help, so instead of that, I decrease days of selling from Mondays to Saturdays, now Mondays to Fridays”
She added her strategy and her loss “The new strategies I imbibe is frying of Akara with the usual yam from 5:30pm to 8:00 that I usually close by then they (Muslim customers) are through with the day fasting. Before the Ramadan I usually fry up to 17pieces of yam, cook 1 create of eggs, N4000 worth of Pomo and N6,000 of meat daily but now I fry 14pieces of yam , half create of eggs, N2,000 of Pomo and N3,000 meat”
Frank Obidike a food vendor opposite the fried yamseller,also has her own ordeal “the fasting really affects me things are very hard and there is no money, because they starts their fasting 5:30 and me opens shop by 8am and close 5:30pm because I don’t sell night food. And that is why I now prepare some assorted soups and swallow to attract more customers such as corn food, Banga soup and rice and draw soup and in the afternoon, I prepare Afam and Oha. Whicha plate of swallow is N400 and N300 for a plate of rice”she said
Cheerful attitude as it is believed to attract more customers if adopted, but the reverse was the case to this anonymous that had been selling food at the Mushin Axis since 2003, “its affects me and other traders here too are complaining we just seat here and sing since there is no market. Despite that facts that I go round this Oduduwa market to ask our customers what they will eat with jovial attitude, dose that are not even fasting claimed to be because they have no money to eat. Initially I cook 12 derica of rice but now 6derica. And my duration of selling was 7am to 5pm before, now it is 7am to 7 pm, and I sell rice from N100 upward” she lamented.
On the same hand, MrsAmaka Christopher reveal that among all what she use in selling it the high price of kerosene that affects her and the low sales makes her to expand the frontier of her customers to nearby offices “I sell rice , swallow and noodles and egg. It really affects me. And among high price of things it Kerosene that affects me most. We are not allow to use gas because it was gas that razed this place down before, The strategies that I now use is distributing of foods outside oduduwa market to nearby offices through the help of my girls.
I can’t create time for my customers because we are not allow to stay more than 6pm here unless you move out of the market to the gate and that has not enable me to satisfy my customers at this period” she explained
Also drink sellers Temitope Oyeyipo contributed to the same complain of low sales “I sell drinks and car spray, have been here for 4years. It affect my sales, those that suppose to come here for business are no longer coming because it is not easy not eaten since morning.
However, they say to before harm is to before warn, since Mrs Adepoju sheriff (mama Luku Canteen) 10 years experience has help her in knowing another tactics that won’t let her sales be harm by the fasting, explained how she still make her sales at this period in the same oduduwa market she said “We thank God, we are in healthy state, it doesn’t affect me because I now sell 3pm to 8pm, but before I sell from morning till 6pm” she said joyfully.
More so, low sales was also observed at Itire where popular food joint like Amala station at Kabiyesi street, iya Togo rice canteen at Smith street, and other food vendors in the area, experience the drought of Ramadan.