Mechanics and electricians in the Masaka area of Nasarawa state have disclosed that the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed businesses belonging to over 83 of its members and forced them to their villages.
Mr. Clement Izah, the vice-chairman Motor Mechanics Association, while speaking to the MAWA Foundation team who visited Masaka to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy, said over 83 of their members lost their businesses to the pandemic and have since relocated to their respective villages.
Izah narrating how they were affected by COVID-19 told MAWA officials that as soon as the pandemic surfaced, many of their customers stopped patronizing them forcing their businesses to close down.
Mr. Isaac Jideofor, a mechanic at Masaka told MAWA that a huge number of their customers now struggle to feed and have since parked their cars forcing mechanics and electricians in the area to suffer poverty and intense predicament.
Jideofor disclosed that some of the members got loans from contributions from members to support their businesses while regretting that the loans could not go around all members while those who could not survive the pandemic crisis have since returned to their various villages.
Mrs. Chioma Joy, while narrating how COVID-19 has affected business and income at Masaka, explained that she goes around collecting daily contributions from mechanics and electricians, but since the pandemic outbreak, she has not been able to collect contributions from them because their businesses are no longer booming.
She told MAWA officials that she knows over 15 mechanics and 3 electricians who have since left for their various villages as a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis.
Five of the mechanics and seven electricians who spoke to MAWA officials appealed to the government to help make available intervention funds to assist many persons who are struggling to survive the pandemic outbreak, pointing out they cannot survive it without government assistance.
This report is supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)