It has become a common sight in most parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for traders to sell all manners of goods from the trunk of their vehicles. This has not only provided succor to the victims of demolished shops but has equally helped many unemployed people in Abuja who do not have enough funds to rent or own a shop.
The proliferations and patronage by the residents of the FCT is an indication that the act of selling goods from car trunks have come to stay and unless an anti-policy by the government is put in place, it will continue to grow.
In fact, it has become so appealing to many residents in Abuja that trunk sales have continued to proliferate virtually everywhere, especially around crowded places. The sales are so good that many shop owners in Abuja even leave their shops with their apprentices and embark on mobile trading.
A mobile boutique owner, Uyime Ekere, told our correspondent that joining the trend became necessary when he could not afford the high rent of shops inside the market, describing it as an extreme measure.
“I had a shop in Garki modern market, but unfortunately for me, due to the increase in the price of shops, I had to find an economical means to sell my goods because I couldn’t afford it any longer. I started parking my car around busy places to sell my goods from my car. Some of these places are usually cost free. I do not have to pay anything to park and sell my goods. In some other places, like companies or somewhere that are not free space, I will have to pay.
“Sometimes I pay as much as N10,000 and other times I pay N5,000 monthly to stay at the company lot to sell my goods. I sell female clothing and the money I usually realise wasn’t enough to cover the cost of my shop rent which was N500,000.
“Sadly, the amount still increased. It costs N10 million to buy a shop. After the increment, I had to get another alternative to sell my goods. I got several suggestions from some family and friends that moving around with my goods was easier and less costly than paying for a shop which I could no longer afford because of the low profit I was making from my business. I had to find an alternative to continue my business. I sell both wholesale and in smaller quantity including okrika clothing as well as female footwear and underwear. Sometimes it is rosy but other times it gets too hard that I might not make good sales,” Ekere said.
Another mobile trader at NYSC secretariat in the Wuse Zone 3 area of the FCT, Ekene Chinekezi, admitted that it has added value much more to his business.
“Mobile trading has a serious impact on my bank account. Cost of fuel and maintenance of the car remains the major challenge. I will have to spend money on whatever must have spoilt in the vehicle even when I may not have made enough sales for it.
“Sometimes I go to Nyanya market to sell some of my products especially on Wednesdays, which is the market day with a lot of people. Unfortunately I have to park at the parking lot which isn’t too pleasant because of the open defecation and the place gets so smelly and customers even step on faeces in the process.
“I change location sometimes to Unity Fountain opposite Millennium Park in Maitama, because it is usually crowded and sometimes good for business. Federal Secretariat is another good spot to make money. People come there every day for different reasons,” he said.