Various markets in Ibadan metropolis, the Oyo State capital, on Monday, witnessed a low turnout as many traders complained of low patronage due to the effect of the lockdown as a result of the coronavirus.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that baskets of tomato and pepper had flooded the markets with no buyers. A big basket of tomato sold for between N5,000 and N10,000, depending on dryness.
The Oyo State Government had ordered a shutdown of commercial activities, although it allowed vendors of perishable items to open for business.
A NAN correspondent, who went round Bodija, Ogunpa, Shasha and Sango markets reports that in some areas around Ojoo, some shop owners defied government order by opening shops while selling wares that were not consumables.
At Sango market, however, many shops were under lock and key in complaince with government directives.
The Secretary, Arewa Pepper Sellers Association, Alhaji Iliasu Bala, said turnout was low as there was a lot of tomato and pepper stock at the market with no buyers.
“Prices of pepper have come down, but people are not coming out to buy due to the lockdown.
“In terms of prevention, we are encouraging our people to wash their hands and use sanitisers.
“On the issue of social distance, we are trying as much as possible to practise this between sellers and buyers,” Bala said.
The Chairman of Oyo State Onion Sellers Association, Alhaji Abdulazeez Kareem, said onions now sell for N10,000 for a big bag, unlike two weeks ago when it was between N6,000 and N7,000.
Kareem said the hike in price was due to onions not being transported to the South Zone unlike before, adding that the price would come down at the end of the lockdown.
Oyo’s Ogunpa market was also empty with few sellers opening shop, while traders at Mokola market also complained of low sales.
The Iyaloja of Mokola Market, Mrs Feyisara Azeez, said the market had continued to record low sales as well.
Azeez called on government and NGOs to also distribute sanitisers to market women in order to curb the pandemic.