From businesses giving gifts to customers and staff, to families and friends exchanging gifts, December is a time of huge purchases in Nigeria.
Food items, drinks, hampers and clothing are some of the most largely purchased items during this period.
The economy slipped into a recession in 2016 with inflation doubling to 18 percent in January. The value of the naira depreciated exchanging for as high as N525 to a dollar and all these made prices increase significantly.
Traders in Idumota, Balogun and Apongbon market have said that 2016, which the nation was in a recession, was more favourable for business.
David Okoye, a wine merchant in the market, said most customers now go for the cheaper wines.
“The price has reduced. The current fuel scarcity did not affect the price of goods because we already stocked up before the scarcity started,” he told TheCable.
“The tricky part is when we want to help customers transport goods, in fact, those requests have reduced, even market is slow.
“They are complaining about the prices so they buy the cheap ones instead.”
For Kuburat Oyedele, a children’s wear trade in the market, it is not the story of high prices.
“We thank God. Prices of goods have reduced but they are not coming to buy”.
“The clothes we sold last year at N7,000 now go for N5,000 but they are still not buying. Even schools were unfair to us this year. They picked dress code for the children and we didn’t have those in stock. Some of them picked Ankara and all parents had to buy jeans. Those school owners were unfair to us this year.”
In the case of Obinna Godsgrace, a jeans trader, sales have been good.
In the case of hamper traders at Apongbon, they retained prices and increased the items in each pack to attract customers.
Hampers containing gas stoves or rice cookers and other items were sold at N20,000. Small hampers containing chocolate, dinner plates and other items were sold at N8,000.
On the other hand, some traders in the middle of Balogun market chose to make themselves happy in a more dramatic way despite low turn out of patronage.
“It’s the end of the year, we thank God we’re alive to witness it,” a dealer in second-hand items said as he danced around the market.