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Some Food Vendors at the ongoing 2020 Lagos International Trade Fair, on Monday, decried the low patronage at the fairground blaming it on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vendors who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), however, said they were optimistic that patronage would improve in the coming days.
Mrs Grace Ekpa of Nitty Gritty Grill, told NAN that the pandemic with its accompanying “restrictions’’ and measures as well as the downturn in the flow of cash, had severely affected the 2020 trade fair.
“We were here last year and our sales were very good; this year’s fair looks really dull.
“If you have observed, the pandemic has made vendors who were here last year not to come this year.
“I hope that patronage improves as days go by,” she said.
Also, Mrs Amaka Simon of Igbo Kitchen, said she was disappointed at the low patronage in spite of huge amounts paid to get a stand at the fairground.
“I am praying that I recover the money that I have spent for the space.
“The annoying part is that customers have refused to understand how expensive foodstuffs are in the market. I just hope to realise my money back,” she said.
Another food vendor, Mr Olumide Salami, affirmed that sales were low.
He also blamed it on COVID-19 and the fact that people didn’t have money at their disposal to spend especially as the cost of things were expensive.
Mrs Chinyere Chukwuma of Ifeoma Catering Foods urged organisers of the fair to come up with attractive incentives to bring in people to the fair ground.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has a factor to play in the low sales because what I expected is not what I am seeing here.
“This is the fourth day and I still have not sold anything commensurate to justify the “outrageous’’ expenses.
“I think the organisers should do something to encourage and make people interested to come to the trade fair.
“That way, it will make people come in and patronise us too,” she said.
NAN reports that the 2020 Lagos International Trade Fair, which is being promoted by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, started on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020.
It will be on till Dec. 13, 2020.
The fair, which is in its 34th edition, is holding both physically at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos and virtually.(NAN)