Thursday, December 22, 2016

Carnival: Taxi drivers, market women record high patronage

A cross-section of taxi drivers and market women in Calabar, Cross River , on Thursday said they had recorded profits due to the high patronage of their businesses following the ongoing 32 days’ carnival in the state.

The carnival that was inaugurated by, Gov Ben Ayade, on Dec. 1, will end on Jan. 1, 2017.

A taxi driver, Mr Hilary Etta, in an interview in Calabar , said that his savings had increased since the inauguration of the carnival.

According to him, he now gets `special drop’ from tourists who are already in the state with their families and friends for the celebration.

He told NAN that before the carnival, he usually realized between N4,000 and N5,000 per day; but due to the carnival in the state, he now realizes between N8,000 and N10,000 daily.

“Cab business in Calabar is not too profitable because of the high number of cabs in the state.

“Before the carnival, I was barely saving between N4,000 and N5,000 per day after I would have deducted fuel and ticket expenses.

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“But, shortly after the inauguration of the carnival, business changed because a lot of people have been coming into the state daily for it. I now make between N8,000 and N10,000 daily’’, he said.

A female taxi-driver, Ms. Eno Okon, told NAN that every carnival season was their peak period to make profits.

“Now that tourists are trooping into the state daily; we are getting special offers to take some of them around town to visit various tourist sites.

“I thank God for this carnival because I hope to safe my children school fees from the profit I will make’’, she said.

Okon lauded the state government for sustaining the carnival in the last 12 years; stressing that it was revenue driven for businessmen and women in the state.

A trader, Mrs Uduak Ekpo, who sells vegetables and other food items, said that her business was booming now as compared to the previous months.

Ekpo, who attributed the high patronage to the carnival period said that she hardly recorded unsold food items in her shop again.

At the Calabar Municipal Council area, the 2016 carnival village, NAN observed that business activities were booming and conducted smoothly under tight security.

The patronage was high in one of the popular stands selling beer.

The stand’s manager told NAN that he was still expecting a high record of sales this year.

“Sales have been very okay this year and we have sold about 7,000 create of drinks.

“We are targeting 15,000 crates of drinks this year and we hope that before the end of the carnival; we will achieve our target”, he said.

Image result for calabar carnival