For majority of ICT traders and food sellers in the computer village, the Nigerian silicon valley, it was not good business as usual during the just celebrated Ramadan festival for Moslems as business activities were at low ebb, according to CyberLIFE findings.
A close monitoring of business activities in the ICT market during the time in question showed that Ramadan like most holidays in the country triggered off low patronage leaving most traders depressed.
Further, CyberLIFE discerned that business in the market has been at low ebb since Ramadan started. According to one of the traders in the market, Mr Onyeka, many Muslims participating in Ramadan feel that their main priority in this period is to focus on matters spiritual. “We have not been receiving much patronage since Ramadan started, that is why we are staying idle like this,” he said.
Another IT vendor who pleaded anonymity said that slow business activities that comes with Ramadan is an annual occurrence, and opined that the problem is not limited to Computer Village alone but to other markets where other things are being sold.
He further said that business in their own side of market took a nosedive since Ramadan commenced, adding customers who come from different parts of the country and outside opted to reschedule their trip to the market till after Ramadan. “Ramadan just isn’t the right time for business,” he said.
In the same vein, food sellers in the market have witnessed low consumption of their commodity. Most of them complained that it is impossible to sell a cooler of food that used to finish on daily basis. Their business had been characterised by excess waste which has been very bad for their business.
According to one of the food sellers, most of their regular customers do not patronize them due to Ramadan. She said that her regular customers who are mainly traders and okada riders were fasting which has been a major setback to her business. “Non-Muslims are the ones patronising me now and it’s not enough,” she said.
According to Mr Nurudeen O.A, a Muslim, the reason for low patronage lies on the fact that Muslims are secluded during Ramadan period. He said that Muslims faithfuls prepared for Ramadan ahead of time. He also said that most people have bought all they needed to use during Ramadan period which is the reason why market activities are slow now.
He further said there are certain things that fasting Muslims are not supposed to see or do during this holy period. He explained that when one goes to market, different people would be met among whom are trouble makers. Muslims are not also supposed to see women that are not properly dressed during Ramadan. “To avoid all these things Muslims need to abscond from market environment” he added.
— Cyril Okoye