Umuahia traders lament poor sales during festive period due to market location

By The Citizen

Traders at the Umuahia Modern Market are lamenting poor sales two days to the Christmas, blaming it on the location of the market.

Speaking with newsmen, the traders regretted the turn of events following the relocation of the market from the city centre.

Mrs Charity Ndukuba, a dealer on rice and other staple foods, said the traders were disappointed.

“We are even planning a protest to the governor because since we moved over to this site nothing is happening.

“I have only sold half a bag of rice since the beginning of December and the same is applicable to other traders around here,'' Ndukuba said.

She attributed the non-patronage of the traders to the size of the market.

“You know that the market is big and the park is far away from Zone 7 and people find it difficult to trek down to our side.

“But traders at the free zone area are making good sales because the park is located close to them,'' she said.

Ndukuba said that only the location of a park close to Zone 7 would ameliorate their current plight.

Mrs Ulumma Ogbonna, a trader at the free zone, said the traders in the area had yet to meet their expectations since the market was relocated.

“What traders expected is not what they are seeing since the relocation of the market.

“Nothing is happening and this is more worrisome because we have brought down prices of our goods, yet, we are not making sales.

Ogbonna said that instead of making profits, the traders had been recording loses as the goods were perishable.

Mrs Comfort Ikwuagu, another trader in the free zone, attributed their predicament to the activities of some of the traders who relocated to the Orie Ugba Market in the heart of the town.

“Those traders who moved to Orie Ugba Market are the cause of this problem. People go there to buy what they need instead of coming here due to the distance.

“We appeal to the government to close the Orie Ugba Market and move the traders down to this place else the aim of relocating us here will be defeated.

“Those of us that agreed to come here are suffering while the people that defied the government order and remained inside the town are enjoying and making good sales,'' she said.

Mrs Mary Obasi, a trader at Orie Ugba Market, admitted that traders in the market were making good sales.

“But you cannot compare the patronage here to what obtained at the old market before traders were relocated,'' Obasi said.

Traders in the Umuahia Main Market were in October moved to a new site at Ubani Ibeku, 15 kilometres from the city centre.