Flooded Berger under bridge in front of Berger Automobile market, along Apapa-Oshodi expressway, Lagos, last week. INSET: A cross section of imported uses vehicles for sale at Berger Automobile market
From all indications, Africa’s biggest automobile market, Berger Automobile Market is losing at least N15 million daily to the flooded and dilapidated spot at Berger under bridge along Apapa-Oshodi expressway where the market is located.
When Shipping Position Daily conducted an investigation to ascertain the level of the damage the bad spot and the gridlock is causing to the market, it was observed that though, there seems to be a slight boom in sales at the market; it is not as high as it used to be, at least when the road was in good shape.
Shipping Position Daily also recalls that few days ago, sales seems to have picked up at the popular market, but a car seller at the market who identified himself as Mr. Uti Benjamin said although sales have picked up especially those who sell Toyota Corolla brands, but it is nothing compared to what obtained in the market years ago.
He said that one of the popular parks in the Berger market, Ishola Park, can boast of at least 5 to 10 vehicle sales in a day when the road was good but now, the park can hardly sell up to three vehicles in a day.
He also said that due to the bad roads and the heavy traffic caused by trucks that are parked on the roads, some of their customers now choose to either go to Ikeja or FESTAC to buy their cars.
According to him, “before now we sell at least 5-10 cars daily but now we hardly sell up to 2 vehicles in a day because of the trucks that are parked indiscriminately here. When some of our customers come and see the traffic here, some of them will be discouraged; they end up going to places like FESTAC or Ikeja to buy instead of stressing themselves in traffic here”
“At least, the value of the money we lose here due to that should be around N15-N20million daily. Now we hardly see up to N5million in this park particularly. You know we have different parks here in Berger. Sales generally here are not the way they used to be before. The people that sell Toyota Corolla might not be experiencing that much because the vehicles is what people like to buy. People love the car because of the fuel economy more than other cars. So the people the parks here like Uzo park that specializes in selling Toyota Corolla make more sales than others” ,he said.
Another auto seller at Agha Park, which is one of the parks at Berger, who pleaded anonymity, said that they are the people who are feeling the hit the most as their park is the one facing the flood and the trucks directly.
“My brother, it has not been easy here, it has been God all through our survival here is by God’s grace. For some months now I have not made any sales here and I still have to transport myself from Okokomaiko to this place every day, feed my family and all that. We have been feeding on the savings we have made. This business is not what you do if you don’t have alternative source of income. We are losing a lot of money here because we sell both SUV’s and cars and the patronage has been very low. I cannot estimate how much we are losing here on a daily basis, I don’t want to think about it because it will get me angry the more” he lamented.