Exhibitors at the yearly Christmas Village in Calabar, Cross River State, have lamented the low volume of sales, attributing the challenge to the suspension of the 2021 Calabar Carnival, the COVI-19 Pandemic and restriction on movement.
The Christmas Village is a yearly trade fair held in Calabar where people from all parts of the world visit to have fun and shop.
But last year, the event was suspended as part of the general restriction on movement to contain the spread of the virus.
Some of the stand owners who regretted attending the event this year from other parts of the world said sales had never been this poor.
Muhammad Abubarka, who deals in jewelries, said he had come from Kaduna for over 10 years to participate in the annual trade fair. He observed since the COVID-19 breakout, Christmas Village had never been profitable.
“It has been more than 10 years since I have been coming to the Christmas village fair from Kaduna… You cannot call what we have now an improvement, one would rather call it a decrease.
“Before now, we used to get this place for rent for not less than N15, 000. As of last year, it was N30,000 but this year, it has increased to N50,000 which is bad for business. The economic situation is bad; there is no business.
Also lamenting, a fabrics dealer, Madam Grace Mensah, from Ghana, said: “This is my fifth year of coming to Calabar Christmas Village to sell fabrics. Before now, we used to have good sales but this year there is nothing to write home about, people are not coming out to patronise us just because there is no Carnival.”