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Easter: Restaurant operators in FCT decry low patronage

Some restaurant owners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed worry over low patronage as Nigerians celebrate Easter.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the owners of restaurants and some customers blamed their misfortune on the economic recession.

One of the operators said that the low patronage started in 2022, adding that the hardship would become worse in January 2024.

Mr. Johnson Agada, a restaurant operator in Karu, said that he disengaged some of his workers in 2023 because of the low patronage and economic hardship.

According to him, “I paid off some of my workers last year when I discovered that I could not pay them their monthly salaries.

“I used to have over 30 workers, which I paid monthly, but when the situation turned down, I decided to pay some off. I have about 14 workers presently.

“Sometimes, I find it difficult to pay them, but because I was also doing other businesses with my wife, I managed to pay them their salaries,” he said.

Mrs. Agnes Agada, the wife of the restaurant owner, said that she felt for those workers they paid off, adding that there was nothing they could do.

“Years ago, when the Nigerian economy was stable, we made over 90 percent of our income and paid our workers their salaries early enough, but now we struggle so much before we pay them.

Agada called on the government and other relevant stakeholders to address the situation.

Mr. Joseph Ihechi, manager of a restaurant in Nyanya, said that business has been very dull since the beginning of 2024.

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Ihechi said that he was working for his boss, who has traveled to London with his family.

He said that he was operating virtually at a loss as customers preferred staying at home because of the hardship the country is facing.

“I think my customers prefer to stay at home because of the economic situation, and we are not finding the situation easy,” he said.

Miss Kate Shuabu, a worker in the restaurant, said that they are experiencing low patronage, adding that her salary was N40,000 when she started.

“But now, we are even praying for our salaries to be paid early and in full,” she said.

Shuabu advised Nigerians to continue to pray for a quick recovery of the economy and urged the government to intervene in the situation.

Mrs. Patricia Igwibe, a shop operator in Jikwoyi, blamed the low patronage on the economic situation in the country.

“I still believe that a day will come when the story of Nigeria will change for the better.

“I am also urging our government to do everything possible to take us out of the economic situation; maybe when the economy improves, things will be better,’’ she said.

Hajia Sani Mohammad, a customer who came to buy some beverages, said she was optimistic that things would be better in the country.

Mr. Christian Samson, who came with his family to Capital Kitchen in Karu, said that customers were no longer coming like before, and the situation did not just start today anyway.

Mrs. Rosemary Samson, Samson’s wife, urged Nigerians to pray for the government’s divine direction, adding that the situation was getting worse every day.

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“The increase in price of the goods we are selling can be adjusted for our customers, but the prices of diesel and fuel are taken from the company’s account, which can ruin the business.

He said that weekends, when they usually made around 85 per cent in sales, had seen a dramatic decrease to 50 per cent.(NAN) (

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