Traders Lament Low Patronage at Calabar Carnival

Traders at the Zoo Garden, venue of the 2015 Calabar Carnival village, on Wednesday expressed disappointment with the low level of patronage.

A cross-section of the traders told the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar that they were not sure they could recoup the money they paid to secure their stands.

Emeka Mba, who sells wears, said he paid N100,000 for the allocation of his business stand at the carnival village, saying, however, that since the village was unveiled on Dec. 1 by the Dep. Gov. Ivara Isu, business had been at a low ebb.

Mba said that he hardly sold two pairs of shoes or trousers in a day, saying that lack of money in circulation was responsible for the low turnout of customers.

``Business has been very low since the unveiling of this carnival village. I hardly sell two pairs of shoes and trousers a day.

``People are complaining about the small money in circulation. It was not like this in the 2014 carnival village, where business was booming,’’ he said.

Mrs Eno Okon, a food vendor, said her story was not different from others over the low patronage.

Okon said from the look of things, she might not be able to realise the N100,000 she paid to the state for her business stand.

Mr Samson Effiong who sells children’s wears, also expressed disappointment with the low level of patronage.

``I went as far as to Lagos to purchase these Christmas attires. It is annoying that customers are pricing them far below the purchase prices.

``I experienced far better sales in last year’s carnival. This year, everybody seems to be complaining of no money,’’ Effiong said.