A cross section of the vendors, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Saturday, admitted that although they made brisk business on such days, the scramble for food by customers was not only an indication of hunger, but a call on the government to duty.
Mrs Felicia Ebuka, who operates a mobile food shop on Post Office road in Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area of the state, told NAN that she recorded increased profit during the Wednesday and Saturday lockdown-free days.
She said her customers, who were mostly mechanics and labourers, depended on her for their breakfast and lunch.
According to her, because they depend so much on her service, she makes two trips to their workshops and sites on those days.
“My customers prefer either rice, rice and beans, ‘moi moi’ (steamed bean pudding), yam porridge, ‘semo’ (wheat or corn flour meal), and ‘garri’ (meal made from cassava flour).
“There’s none of these days I return home with leftover. My customers scramble for more,” she added.
Mrs Ebuka said although food vendors made significant gain, the scramble for food was an indication of the state of hunger in the country.
She, therefore called for increased government intervention in the provision of palliatives during the lockdown.
Also, Miss Grace Ishaku, who hawks local cereal, ‘kunun gyada’ (groundnut milk and rice gruel), said she always sold off the product in less than two hours, adding that some of the customers were angry that the quantity was not enough.
“Some households depend on my ‘kunu’ for their breakfast. As such, I wake up early to make it ready for the day.
“I’m able to make reasonable profit of, at least, N2,500 daily, enough to keep me in business and cater to my family needs,” she said.
Mrs Alheri Kuyet, another food vendor at Barnawa, a city in Kaduna North Local Government Area, said she always recorded increased sales on lockdown-free days, a development, which usually made up for the other days on which the lockdown became effective.
“Although, I make daily sales, patronage is usually higher when the people can go out and attend to their businesses.
“The current situation has had its toll on lots of people.
“We pray that the government would step up so that people don’t die of hunger and not of the disease itself,” she said.
Mr David Akoh, an automobile mechanic at Sabo told NAN that as a bachelor, he depended on food vendors for breakfast and lunch, adding, “the times are hard, but man must survive anyhow”.