Sports Business: Thousands Of Traders Smile Home From National Youth Games

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Makeshift stands at the 4th National Youth Games, Ilorin 2018.

 

By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Even though it ended about a week ago, it would remain memorable to many.
Tthe 2018 edition of the National Youth Games witnessed a boost in business activities as the number of petty traders present almost doubled those that featured in the previous editions hosted by the University of Ilorin.
The 11-day event saw the entire motor park area, hostel surroundings and a stretch to the Senior Staff Club thronged by traders displaying various wares.
Everything was available, from sports wears, to foot wears and electronics, to food vendors, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, variety of textile materials, new and used clothing,  shoes, and toiletries.
One of the traders, who simply identified himself as Ikenna said he came all the way from Lagos.
He explained that some of the electronics he came with were exhausted and he had to place order for more to be sent in from Alaba International Market, where he has a shop.
“During events like this, I always travel with my goods to do business. I go to Kaduna Trade Fair, I attend other places where there are gatherings to market my goods,” he said.
Speaking further, he said he was looking forward to the National Sports Festival, billed to take place in Abuja in December.
“For the National Sports Festival, I will go with more goods  because business was good here in Ilorin,” he said.
Another  trader, who simply identifies herself as Iya Ibeji who said she came in from Ibadan, said they were happy with the patronage they received.
She commended the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for making the Games colourful and bringing athletes and officials from all over the country.
“We are happy. We wish this can be happening every month,” she added.
At the Senior Staff Club if Unilorin, where most officials and visitors eat good food, getting a seat at peak period between 6pm to 10pm was not an easy task.
After events for the day, variety of food, which costs from N200 a plate, is desired as such, the staff of the restaurant are seen busy attending to that important physiological need.
Within the same premises, the bar is also busy within same hours. Some complained of waiting for up to an hour without been served drinks they ordered for, as a result of the large number of impatient customers, anxiously waiting to take a sip of their choice of drinks.
As convoys of vehicles departed for their respective states on Monday September 17  morning, most of the traders were still there, making last minute sales before packing remaining wares and looking out for the next big gathering where they can be of service and make good profits in the process.
For them, the sales made from September 7, would last a little while before they hit the roads again for Abuja in December.

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