AHEAD of Christmas festivity, event planners and decorators have blamed economic downturn and lack of fund for low patronage, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
They told NAN in Lagos that many clients declined their services due to paucity of fund and low budget, despite offering innovative packages and discounted fees.
Mrs Olashile Adeyemo, Chief Executive Officer, Beautiful Touch Ltd, Ikeja, complained that party planning contract and gift patronage was low compared to previous years.
“Many of the organisations that usually request quotations for gift items did not make enquiry.
“I packaged different gifts as samples to entice them, still they rejected the offer.
“Schools that usually contract us to handle their annual Christmas parties for their pupils have reduced.
“Their managements complained that many parents were still owing school fees and as such, they cannot afford the expenses of a party,’’ she said.
Mrs Oluwapelumi Obasa, Managing Director, Finesse World, Surulere, said the economic ambiance of the country portrays that many people would celebrate Christmas in low key this year.
“In previous years, I work round the clock to meet my client’s deadline; I employ more persons to assist with the workload; at times, I even turn down some job offers.
“Banks and corporate organisations spend lavishly on decorations of their office buildings, but now, the situation has changed.
“It does not feel like Christmas season. Many buildings are devoid of beautification and makeovers.
“Even the few companies that make attempt only used light decorations,” Obasa told NAN.
Also, Mr Onyedika Agbamu, an event planner said: “The present situation is a reflection of the economic status of many people’’.
Agbamu noted that a lot of businesses were just struggling to survive.
“It has been a most challenging year, with naira depreciation, high cost of goods, reduced profit and purchasing power; a lot of people have adjusted by being frugal.
“Unfortunately, our business is at the receiving end; we thrive when the economy is buoyant and people spend without restraint.”
Agbamu appealed to the Federal Government to evolve and implement strategic policies that would alleviate people’s hardship and revitalise the economy.