Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCT physically challenged traders lose N5m goods to COVID-19

Over 356 physically challenged traders doing businesses in the nation’s capital, Abuja, said they had lost goods worth millions of naira owing to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in the FCT.

Chairman of the Physically Challenged Traders Union, FCT, Ibrahim Sagir, said members of the association were the most affected by the pandemic since most of them have no other means of livelihood aside the businesses they run in markets across the FCT.

He said his members lost goods worth over N5million between March and June 2020, when markets were shut down as part of measures to check the spread of Covid-19 curtail in the FCT.

“I will say we the physically challenged traders were the most affected by the outbreak of the Corona Virus. If you observe, you will realise that most of our members’ deal in the selling of perishable goods in most markets in Abuja. Even though the government allowed food stuff sellers to run their businesses during the lock down, our people still lost a lot, because business was not as usual. Perishable goods ordered from other states spend days on transit and at the end we lost a good portion of them.

“Some members have had truckloads of vegetables rot away even before they get to their owners because of the traffic gridlock at state borders. Others had to bribe security men with good money if they must beat the hold up and avoid losing their wares.

“We have been keeping records of all these and if I am to quantify, I will say our members lost nothing less than N5million in interest and even business capital, but unfortunately nobody is talking about all that.”

The chairman therefore called for government intervention in offsetting some of the losses incurred during the pandemic in order to discourage members from resorting to street begging.

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