Owerri - Business owners in Owerri have complained of a decline in business since the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike.
Entrepreneurs, who were mostly patronised by undergraduates two universities in Owerri, have raised an alarm over the decrease in patronage since the students went on their forced vacation.
Some business operators told the News Agency of Nigeria in Owerri that life business was experiencing a lull with the closure of the Imo State University and the Federal University of Technology, both in Owerri.
Chioma Nwawunze, a boutique owner, lamented that she hardly recorded a single patronage in a week thereby making life extremely difficult for her.
"Whenever the students are around, business is brisk, but since the strike started, I can hardly afford to order for new stock since the old ones are still here in my shop.
"These young girls like to be fashionable and they patronise our shops very well, but ASUU has put an end to that.
"Christmas is around the corner, but I'm not even excited because business is bad, even paying my shop attendants is a challenge because sales are so poor," she said.
Ngozi Iwuala, a salon owner, appealed to ASUU to call off the strike to enable her make some money ahead of the Christmas season.
"We have had fewer customers since the strike commenced, who are mostly working mothers and they don't spend as much as students.
Normally, at Christmas some students will spend as much as N7 000 to make their hair, fix nails and eyelashes, but with the strike this Christmas season will not favour us.
"My customers now are mostly working mothers who try to make their hair to last for a month or even longer and they don't pay up to the amount students pay.
"ASUU should call off this strike for our sake, please," she urged.
A manager of a fast food restaurant, who pleaded anonymity, also said business had been slow since the outset of the strike.
"When students are around, we rarely have leftovers at the close of business but now we do; business is not the same and we have ASUU to thank for that," he said.