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Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009
World markets feel downturn



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Inside Oba Elegushi market in Lagos.

By Nnenna Obibuaku
BBC News, Lagos

Lagos markets and traders are starting to feel the pinch as oil prices fall, government revenue shrinks and Nigeria's currency, the Naira, slides against the US dollar.

"The present economic crisis is affecting every aspect of life here," says Adamu Bima, 35, a trader at the Oba Elegushi arts and crafts market, who also holds a degree in economics.

"I struggle to make ends meet. I sometimes have to borrow to support my family."

The market is known for its colourful mix of paintings, beads, woodwork, bronze and tie-dye fabrics, produced in Nigeria, Kenya, Mali and others parts of Africa.

It's a tourist attraction, but fewer people are buying, and those that do buy are spending less, says Adamu Bima.

Job hunt

One of the problems is that the Naira has fallen from 118 to the dollar in November, to 145 today.

"I sell Nigerian and imported leather and wooden arts. It now costs more both for the goods that are imported and the locally made ones," says Adamu Bima.

A few months ago he could buy a leather case for N2000 ($14). Now it costs N3000 ($20).

The price of food, transport and clothing is also rising.

Adamu Bima says he has been in the business for 20 years but is now looking for an alternative.

Market traders are experiencing real hardship, he says.

He wants the government to import less, export more and put more emphasis on agriculture.

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