Harmattan: Sweater vendors, buyers in catch-22


BY NEWS DESK, JANUARY 25, 2023 | 07:47 PM

Residents of Maiduguri, capital of Borno have decried hike in prices of sweaters, however, the dealers of the products appear to be in an even more trouble.

Maiduguri is known for its extreme weathers in harmattan season. This cold weather is often associated with dust, wind, haze and atmospheric dryness. This mostly occurs between the months November and March.

During this period, residents of the metropolis buy sweaters to keep warm, which causes an upsurge in the patronage of a second-hand of them as they are cheaper.

However, according to the residents, even the fairly-used ones have hit the rooftop.

They lamented that the prices of the products have increased by more than 50%.

‘What I bought three years ago for my baby at the cost of N600 is now sold at N1, 000,’ a mother who wants to be recognized as Merry said.

Yet, other residents don't only buy the products for their personal use. They have fashioned out a business out of the situation. They buy from dealers for onward sale in their remote communities.

But, they said, this season it has been difficult for them to do that because of the price upsurge.

‘I used to purchase it as a retailer but this season, there is no discount. A T-shirt for children cost around N250 but it is now bought at N400, so you can see how the situation got worse,’ a mother of six who doesn’t want to be named said.

The dealers of the products have attributed the increase in the prices to general inflation in the country.

Other immediate causes, they said, includes the fuel scarcity which raises the cost of transportation and custom duties, among others.

‘What we bought at N100, 000 two years ago now cost us N200, 000,’Malam Isiyaka Goni Tijjani, a dealer of the products at Maiduguri Monday Market said.

Just as the residents are battling with the hike, YERWA EXPRESS NEWS have equally learned that the dealers too are reportedly in dilemma as to how to sell their products before the end of the season as customers no longer even attempt to buy them.

The season in Miaduguri lasts till, mostly, the end of February, starting from November.

Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria redesigned its Naira notes.

The apex bank gave January 31 of this year as a dateline for the expiration of old notes.

Some days to the deadline, still new Naira notes are scarce, and this, according to the dealers, is what is frustrating their business the most.

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