Mr. Ikenna Christian is a motorcycle spare parts dealer in Nkwo Nnewi, he imports most of his goods from China, according to him, 70% of goods sold in Nkwo Nnewi whether motor, motorcycle and electrical spare parts are made in China.
For Christian, the coronavirus outbreak is crippling their businesses, most of the traders in the market who makes hundreds of thousands and millions weekly, hardly make Five Thousand Naira (#5000) weekly, since February.
He said that traders in the market are running short of goods because they are yet to import any goods this year because of travel restrictions. The Chinese companies we buy goods from have already closed down, he noted.
The plight of Ikenna is the same with most traders in Nkwo Nnewi, who are losing sleep over the development, some of them are only left with goods they imported late last year, some who have gone or ordered for goods in China and other countries are unable to do business or return to the country due to the outbreak of coronavirus. For some, the world appears to be coming to an end.
Coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome. The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019, and was recognised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th March 2020.
As of today, 23rd March, more than 372,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 190 countries and territories, resulting in more than 16,300 deaths and over 101,000 recoveries.
Speaking on how the virus is affecting businesses in Nkwo Nnewi, the Assistant Secretary of Agbo-Edo Market Motor Spare Parts Dealers Association (AMPSDA), Mr. Ejike Ndubuizu, expressed fears that scarcity may hit the market in few months time, if the outbreak continues.
For him, business in the market has suffered great decline following the closure of factories in China, most of the goods that suppose to arrive the country since January is still in China following the outbreak of COVID-19, he said that they are only surviving because of some of the goods that were stock in the warehouse.
Speaking further, Ejike Ndubuizu who is also a politician said that the effect of the coronavirus on businesses in Nigeria should be a wake-up call to Nigeria to go back to production to reduce importation.
According to him, the reliance on foreign product has made the economy in Nigeria to be in terrible condition following the closure of the border. He called for revival and patronage of local industries which will boost the economy, create employment and reduce crime.
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