[Abuja]–GSM Traders at the GSM Village in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Friday called on the Federal Government to empower small business people with low interest rate loan to help their businesses to grow.
Some of the traders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that lack of finance was threatening the existence of their businesses and it had been very difficult to get loan from the banks because of the high interest rate that comes with it.
The Managing Director of Two Shot Communications, a GSM outlet, Mr. Ali Isiaka, said that the problem of finance could be solved if government would empower the traders with some loan facilities.
He said: “the problem we are having in this market is that there is no money in circulation to do business that is why we are calling on government to come to our aid.
“Another challenge in the business is that spare parts of phones are very expensive because I do hardware but if there is enough money, we will be able to buy these items in bulk”.
Isiaka also blamed some dealers for the high price of phones in the market, adding that they use the high forex rate as excuse to increase their prices.
“Everybody is shouting dollar but I do not see any dollar problem in this because dollar is N420 today and the price is still constant and we are shouting government, meanwhile the problem is caused by us”.
“Now that the dollar is reducing, why can’t they sell the phones at reduced rate rather than the former price; so let government intervene and put things as they should be because only the rich people are enjoying now”.
Mr Dele Hakeem, the Managing Director, Stone Crush Communications, also appeal to government to find a way of helping them in form of empowerment.
“We all know what is going on in the country; you cannot compare it with what happened two or three years ago. We hardly have customers to buy our goods”.
“And apart from that, this exchange rate is also affecting our businesses. I work as an IT personnel and am into software. The economic downturn is affecting me because there is no money is circulation”.
Another trader, Mr Ahmed Usman, said that he had been facing a lot of challenges due to low patronage, adding that before he used to make more sales.
He attributed this to the economic recession in the country.
“The recession is really affecting our businesses, like now I have been sleeping since morning (2 p.m.) because there is no market but before I could not sleep in the shop because of patronage”.
He, however, hoped that the fall in the price of dollar with make GSM affordable to the people.