Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigeria: Afcon 2013 - Newspaper Vendors Make Brisk Business in Abia

Newspaper vendors in Umuahia have been experiencing a boom in sales, particularly the sporting newspapers, since the start of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, a survey has shown.

The survey also showed that the sales were boosted after the Nigerian team, the Super Eagles, posted the 2-1 win over pre-tournament favourites, the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire, in a quarter-final cracker.

A cross-section of the vendors in Umuahia, said that they recorded higher turnovers as they have virtually been selling off all their daily supplies.

A street vendor, Basil Udu, said that the quantity being supplied to them is no longer meeting the increased demand by soccer-crazy fans in Umuahia, the Abia capital.

Mr. Udu said that sports newspapers were often exhausted before 9 a.m. since the commencement of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup, AFCON, tournament.

"Many people want to be current with the news of the day at the ongoing AFCON," he said, stressing that the tournament was responsible for the high patronage.

"This morning (Monday), I collected 20 copies of Sporting Champion and 25 of Soccer Star but they were all exhausted before 9 a.m.," he said.

The vendor explained that they (the Vendors) had requested their suppliers to increase the daily supply to Umuahia.

Another vendor at the NUJ Press Centre, Umuahia, Dan Maduagwu, said he had already "placed orders" for more newspaper copies.

Mr. Maduagwu described the boost in sales as "a good development for us because it adds more money to our pockets".

"We owe this fortune to the superlative performance of the Super Eagles at the AFCON in South Africa," he said.

There has also been an increase in the number of 'free-readers' at the various newsstands in the city.

The free readers are those readers who often cluster around the newsstands in the mornings to read, discuss and sometimes argue on issues in the newspapers without having to pay to own the newspaper.

Mr. Maduagwu said that the free readers sometimes constitute a nuisance to the vendors, stressing that their activities posed a serious challenge to the vendors.

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