By Jonathan Ugbal
The consumer of any product is obviously an angel to the producer. The practicality of the above is the reality been faced by business operators in the Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH where the industrial action embarked upon by the branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has affected their income.
A visit by CrossRiverWatch to the institution reminded our reporter of the phrase “as silent as the graveyard”, but for a few trucks conveying building materials and empty tricycles waiting for their ‘turns’ the blazers republic is a shadow of itself.
Over half the number of business operators have shutdown due to low or no patronage. Investigations revealed less than a dozen businesses are in operation whose owners complained bitterly over the situation while several have shut down pending when the strike is called off.
Some business owners shared their plight with CrossRiverWatch.
“If people no come to buy market, na how you wey dey sell go chop?”, Mama Emeka provision store owner.
“I dey watch film na, when customer come I sell, if dem no come wetin I go do? This strike ehn, na only God dey keep man sha.” says a provision shop owner Oga Benji.
“I renovated my shop with the hope that I will soon recover my funds but the way it is now, I might be forced to move out but for my studies sake” Michael Bekomson who runs a barbing saloon says.
The operators who did not want their pictures published urged the government to intervene on the matter as not only students were been affected.
“We pay a huge sum every year quite similar to and even more than some shops outside the school premises” says Glory a computer operator, “The money is quite much but we are managing, strike or no strike our bills are counting. For me business is manageable as some students are still working on their projects” she concludes.
Outside the school premises, a few businesses were still thriving especially a football pay-per-view center. The operators were however not willing to divulge how the strike has affected their income and level of patronage.
It will be recalled that CrossRiverWatch reported that the ongoing industrial action of the Academic Staff Union of University ASUU, CRUTECH branch has as its cause several reasons from unpaid allowances and arrears in salaries to funding of the institution which members of the union say they won’t renege on their decision until certain agreements and promises are fulfilled.
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