By Sade Adewale,
Kayode Olabanji &
Economic activities have peaked across Ondo State few days to Christians.
Investigation by The Hope revealed that the trend followed payment of salaries to workers by the state government which empowered many workers to shop for their needs.
The report showed that major markets and shopping centres were filled as workers beaming with smiles trooped out to make shopping.
In Akure, Owo, Ondo, Ikare and Okitipupa, it was the same mood as traders recorded heavy patronage of sales since workers got their salaries.
Traders interviewed said there had been a change in the commercial activities since Wednesday when government made good its promise to pay workers salaries.
Some civil servants who spoke with our reporters thanked Governor Akeredolu for keeping his promise to pay workers salaries and pleaded with the traders not to exploit the situation to rip workers of their hard earned pay.
Speaking with The Hope at the Osele market in Okoja, Ikare Akoko, a teacher in one of the public schools in Ikare, Mrs Afolabi Oluyemisi, said she came to market to buy clothes for her children.
She disclosed that she was in a psychological torture thinking of going somewhere to borrow money but felt so bad when it dawned on her that those she had in mind to run to for help are also civil servants like her who are also in her shoes.
Oluyemisi however said when she got the alert on Wednesday she jumped up t as she felt relieved.
In the same manner, a local government staffer, Mrs Adene Oluwatoyin who was full of joy with the salary payment said she was relieved of her headache of not making her children happy during the Christmas celebration.
Mrs Adene said, it has always been the tradition in her family to buy clothes and cook food for the children and their friends.
” I want to thank Governor Akeredolu for fulfilling his promise to pay us so that we can do the Christmas but we are asking him to please” magnanimous by paying all the arrears”.
Mr John Ayenigba who works with the Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue disclosed he was in the market to buy chickens which has become a tradition in his family, during Christmas and new year celebrations.
According to him, his children will not forgive him if he did not make available the chickens and condemned the viral news which alleged that the state government will not pay salary before the Christmas celebration.
He however said the mood changed when alerts started coming in.
Speaking, Mrs Iwalola Adeyemi thanked the state governor for deeming it fit to pay salaries and putting smiles on the faces of the civil servants so that they can celebrate joyfully with their families.
A trader in Ondo town, Mrs. Odunwo Christianah said “there has been an improvement in the amount of goods that I have sold since government paid salaries to workers. I think people are using the money collected this month to buy the foodstuffs they need for Christmas. Even some of those who bought foodstuffs from me on credit are coming to pay their debt. I am happy about what is happening right now. I have sold more rice, beans, yam, palm oil and others since they collected their salaries.”
A civil servant, Mr. Adesoji Adeseye said “using part of the salary I got now to buy some of the important things that my family will need for the festive holidays is probably the best step to take right now.
The price of goods are already rising. So, buying things now will save me from spending more money on the same goods later when they are expected to get more costly. I think doing this will help me save enough money for other purposes.”
A boutique owner, Mr. Ayomide Azeez said “more parents have been coming to my shop to get clothes, shoes, watches, hats, caps and others for their children in the past few days. Even though what we are selling now is far below our usual sale during this time of the year because of the situation of Nigeria, sales has improved.
So, I am happy that people are coming to buy more things now. I pray it continues that way”
Another civil servant, Mr. Yemi Ojo said “on the issue of paying more salary to workers in the state, there is a saying that a bird in hand is better than a thousand in the bush. So, we are using what we have collected now to get the important things from the market while making sure that we save for the coming year when we will be paying for so many things.
There is no doubt that payment of salaries affect shopping for the christmas. We are also keeping hope alive that the government will make more payment of salaries as promised.”
A trader, Mrs. Oluwatosin Oni said “the payment of salaries to government workers this week has been good for my business. Some of my customers are coming to pay for the things they bought on credit because they have received their money. They are also buying new drinks and foodstuffs which they will be using for Christmas. I know that all these is happening because they collected their salaries this week. I pray they keep coming because that is how I will get the money I need to buy things for Christmas.”
Report from Okitipupa, the headquarter of Okitipupa Local government area, observed that buyers have stormed the market to purchase foodstuffs and some items in preparation for the festive season.
It was gathered that number of customers who came to purchase one or more items in the market increased based on the recent Salary paid by the state government to civil servants.
According to a resident who spoke with our correspondent at the market, Mrs Yetunde Olorunwa, said, she is not a civil servant but she heard that some of them have started receiving their salaries since yesterday which she believed has aided the numerous consumers at the market.