A recent survey by Daily Trust has shown that the change of government in Nigeria and financial policies that placed restrictions on international transactions is having a significant effect on a popular market in London.
Liverpool Street Market used to enjoy huge patronage from Nigerians buying clothes and other goods, with some even buying in bulk to send by cargo to Nigeria, but according to Daily Trust, they have been experiencing a decline in sales.
Daily Trust spoke with some of the merchants at the market, below is an excerpt:
Hajiya Rabi, a store operative, while confirming the decline in sales owing to a drastic drop in the number of Nigerian customers, said the future of businesses, especially textiles shops in the market looked very bleak without robust patronage by Nigerians and other customers.
Speaking in the same vein, a shop owner, Chief (Mrs.) Franca Aina, said sales had “really, really gone down,” and attributed the trend partly to restrictions on credit card spending and the limited amount of cash Nigerians are allowed to carry or withdraw abroad.
Aina, who is Nigerian, said the situation was so bad that some shops and businesses were closing down, stressing that: “I think it’s because of the new government’s war on corruption.”
“In the past, Nigerians used to come here and spend (money) anyhow. But now only a few come and they spend very little. In many shops, 90 percent of sales are by Nigerian customers. So you can see why the businesses are folding up,” she narrated.
The shop owner appealed to the Nigerian government to look into the cash and financial restrictions placed on its citizens travelling abroad, stressing that people should be allowed to carry as much money as they wish as long as they could prove ownership of the money.
“We go to Switzerland and other countries to buy goods and carry as much money as we need and the UK does not stop us as long as we can prove it is our money,” she said, pointing out that placing a blanket restriction victimizes innocent people who earn their money legitimately.
Daily Trust has the full story