Offices deserted after Sallah break


As work resumed yesterday after two days public holidays declared by the Federal Government to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid-el-Kabir, most government and private offices visited by Nigerian Pilot in Abuja recorded low turnout of workers.
Besides, checks round the city centre also showed reduced vehicular movement along major high ways and bus stops.
At noon yesterday when our reporters visited the federal secretariats at Central Business District and Area 1 Garki, most of the ministries were deserted. The Sallah mood was also felt at Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, and Secretariat as workers and visitors presence dropped drastically.
A cross section of workers who spoke to Nigerian Pilot were unanimous that although most of their colleagues are still in festive mood, the prevailing economic hardship in the Nigeria contributed largely to their inability to resume for duties on Wednesday.
‘‘You know what is happening in the country, no money like before. Some of us managed to celebrate with our families, so, with this kind of situation I am not surprised that offices are scanty,’’ says a middle aged civil servant who simply identified himself as Mr. Ola.
He however, prayed that the country overcome this recession, saying people are suffering and with the situation, you may not expect people to resume promptly.
On the private business side, activities are yet to pick up fully in most of the commercial places within Abuja metropolis. For instance, at the popular Area 7 Shopping Centre, commercial transactions were still on the low side as some shops were still under lock, while customers patronised those opened for business in trickles.
According to an Air Conditioning System technician, Chukwuma Ibezim, “I only came to shop for the sake of coming, business has not been good before the Sallah due to the economic hardship facing the country, as you can see for yourself, see people just sitting down moody, we are only waiting for miracle to happen.”
At the ever busy Area 1 Shopping Centre the situation was not in any way different, as most shops owners are yet to return from the Sallah break, while those around complained that business activities is still on the low side.
Commercial vehicle operators at the Area 1 motor park are also hit by the drop in the flow of civil servants and members of the business community, as taxi operators plying intra-city routes complained of low patronage.
Some of those who travelled for the Sallah are yet to return, and those that celebrated the festival here are still relaxing at home, a taxi driver, Mr. Peters Ojo noted.
Further findings revealed drop in commercial activities at Wuse Market, owing to the fact that some workers and other people who often do their shopping there are yet to resume work after the two day Sallah break that ended on Tuesday, September 13.
For some bankers in market areas that were usually cramped with customers, it was a day of relief as our reporters observe scanty number of people in bank visited.
At the time of filling this report, petrol filling stations across the city are experiencing sluggish flow of customer.
Although, government offices are fully opened, Nigerian Pilot observed that sizable numbers of businesses were still closed in most commercial areas of the city including the Central Business District, Abuja.
It would be recalled that the federal government had last week declared Monday and Tuesday this week work free days to enable Muslims celebrate the annual festival of Eid-el-Kabir which is observed worldwide on the 10th day of Zdihijjah, the 12th month of Islamic calendar.
Significance of the festival is to commemorate the willingness of prophet Ibrahim to follow the will of The Almighty.

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