Economic crunch mar Sallah celebrations in Abuja
The recession currently being experienced in the Nigerian economy took its toll on the festive period, as most Islamic faithful said they were forced to celebrate the last Eid El-Fitri in a low key.
Sallah celebrations, like any other religious festivities in Abuja are renowned for their elaborate celebration by residents, with visitation to parks, gardens and other relaxation spots.
The 2016 Eid El-Fitri celebrations was however a break from norm, with parks and gardens deserted but for a few people seen relaxing in some of them.
Some respondents who spoke with The Abuja Inquirer, say this year’s celebration was without the usual exchange of food between neighbours and friends, as many can hardly even provide special meals for their immediate families.
The situation, which could be attributed to the current economic crunch and worsening inflation, saw families celebrating in the confines of their homes.
They said they current financial condition calls for cautions spending, as resources spent on wanton entertainment can be saved and channelled to more pressing needs after the festivity.
A civil servant, Mal. Dauda Nasuni, said it was pointless spending so much for a day’s celebration when one can save the money and spend on the family’s need.
Nasuni said the lessons of Ramadan negate gluttonous eating which most people tend to do after the Ramadan fast in the name of celebration.
“I think the economic realities has some positive aspects to it, because it has made many people realise the need for careful spending, which is one is expected of Muslims. I’m talking about prudent spending and not being stingy or denying yourself and family what the need or deserve within ones financial state.
“Though the celebrations are low key, I still see it as a good thing. People should be able to stick to the lessons of Ramadan by doing things in moderation. But that is not to say I am comfortable with the economy as it is. No am not, but whatever happens we should try to pick a lesson or two from any situation we find ourselves,” he said.
The situation also had a negative effect on businesses, as food dealers in markets around the federal capital territory decry low patronage throughout the festivity. Surprisingly, the drop prices of food items like Rice and tomatoes, had little effect on the purchasing power of the people, as traders still complained of low patronage.
Checks reveals that a bag of rice which was sold for as high as N18,000 to N23,000 months back, had dropped to as low as N15,000 shortly before the sallah celebrations, yet traders complain of low sales.
Prices of tomatoes which had skyrocketed due to a viral attack on tomatoes farms across the country, also dropped.
A small basket of the produce which sold for N4500 barely two months ago, now sells between N800 to N1200.