Umuahia - Newspaper vendors in Umuahia, Abia, on
Wednesday attributed the low patronage being experienced to the public’s
dependence on social media and newspaper reviews by broadcast stations
in the country.
Some of the vendors, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria
(NAN), also noted that another factor for the dwindling number of
newspaper readers was unemployment especially among the youths.
One of the vendors, Daniel Maduagwu, recalled the good days when, he said, sale of newspaper was a lucrative business.
"It used to be a lucrative business but since the advent of social
media it has dwindled in terms of what we sell on daily basis because
some people now prefer to read the news online.
"Some radio stations review these papers very early in the morning.
After listening to the review, some people may lose interest in buying
newspapers to read," he said.
He said that the economic status of prospective customers had an effect on their trade.
"Economic hardship in the country is another thing that is impacting
negatively on our business because I believe we first of all need to
eat, take care of some other things, before we can talk about reading
"Another problem we have is the issue of free readers; every
morning, they cluster around our tables and sometimes you have to push
them away before they agree to leave your newsstand. Some may not even
be interested in reading.
"They like to just gather around and listen to other people’s discussions about national events," Maduagwu stated.
Another vendor, Agwu Okpara, said that it was disturbing that most
vendors were now finding it difficult to address the needs of their
families owing to the dwindling fortunes of the business of selling
"To be frank, since the introduction of social media the business
has dropped. People now go to the internet to read any paper they want
to read. They don’t come here and patronise us as they used to
"So we are finding it very difficult. Before now, on days like this,
people will be here waiting for Guardian to arrive. I used to get
N2,000, N3,000 deposits from people for The Guardian newspaper alone.
"But it is no longer so because of the internet. So this thing has
automatically killed the business. We are no longer living up to
expectations," he lamented.
Okpara appealed to the government at all levels to do more in the
area of job creation, and to also come up with a legislation that would
reduce the news content in the social media.