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Price of sex crashes – as customers desert prostitutes

BRAZIL - JULY 16:  Prostitutes work in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday night, July 15, 2007. With 700,000 visitors flooding into Rio de Janeiro, the Pan American Games are a profit opportunity for prostitutes in Brazil, where their occupation is legal. They can expect a surge in business and double their usual rates, said Flavio Lenz, a spokesman for Da Vida, a group representing Rio's sex workers.  (Photo by Douglas Engle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The on-going economic recession has become an ill-wind blowing no sector any good. Even commercial sex work (prostitution) is not spared.

ENCOMIUM Weekly’s findings revealed that most of the popular Lagos fun spots known for the illicit trade are now heavily deserted by the hitherto sex hungry men whose libido were always on the rise when the country’s economy was fairly stable.

One of the operators of the hospitality joints who spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly under the condition of anonymity lamented serious decline in the business as patronage has reduced drastically, citing poor economic situation in Nigeria as the main factor.

“My brother, things are not how they used to be again. This business is collapsing due to the harsh economy the country is experiencing now. Almost all my colleagues are tired of the business, it’s just because most of us have nowhere to go. That’s why we are still in the trade.

“Before the 2015 general elections, all the seats here would be filled. Even things were still a little better towards the end of the year and early part of 2016. But now, less than half of the seats are usually filled and not even by correct customers. Some may not even buy anything, let alone engage all these sex workers who always flooded this street then.

“Most of our rooms are not regularly occupied again. Everybody is just complaining of the poor economic situation in the country. Even, at times most of these run girls fight for clients. At times, police also come to raid them. That’s why you can’t see most of them hanging around here again. What I personally notice is that most married men have been forced to be more responsible now. They stay more with their families unlike in the past years when the economy was a bit booming. Most times, most of the prostitutes stand hopelessly till around 11:30pm, and when there’s no patronage, they will just be dispersing one after the other.

“I can say with all sense of sincerity, I have not been able to pay my rent fully since February this year. Even asun and suya consumption has dropped. So, nothing earns me any profit again. Things are very hard this time around. And if the situation persists till the end of this year, I will discontinue the business and find something else cheaper and perhaps more economically viable to venture into.”

ENCOMIUM Weekly also had a chat with a few of the prostitutes. They equally groaned on the pathetic state of the country’s economy. They, however, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten the process of revamping the ailing economy.

One of the sex workers, Imisioluwa from Ondo state stated, “It’s no longer business as usual. Most of us only come here every day without anything to show for. And if you’re lucky to hook to a customer, he won’t pay you well. He will change the story after having slept with you.

Now, a round of sex which was formerly N5,000 has gone down to as low as N2,000 (short time).Then, lodging is now as cheap as N4,000 just to go back home in the morning with something. A lot of our old customers have deserted us. The few that come now take an advantage of the present hardship to treat us shabbily.

“I have even made up my mind. I will concentrate on my shop by next year instead of coming here every night, exposing myself to cold weather.”

Another prostitute, Cynthia from Delta state also narrated her ugly experience in the trade at the moment, promising to quit after December 2016.

“I am not enjoying the business again. It’s nothing to write home about. That’s even the reason we’re not many here again. And not only this place, it’s all over Nigeria. Most of my friends in Abuja, Port Harcourt are also lamenting. Men are no longer honest with us. They keep complaining of high exchange rate and decline in their sources of income. And instead of spending their little income on us, they will only play us.

“I have a customer who has been very nice to me but since the hardship in the country keeps biting harder and harder, he has stopped patronizing me. He doesn’t even picky my call again. And before, each time I had sex, he would pay me at least N10,000 (short time). But the last time he invited me, to Ilorin where he just got a new contract, he lamented beyond normal. I was fully happy and excited following him to Ilorin, Kwara state, hoping I would return to Lagos with a swollen purse or fat bank account. I was disappointed when he only issued me a cheque of N20,000 after days of marathon sex. I almost cried. He just pleaded with me that when the economy picks up again, he would treat me better. I had no choice than to accept. Since that time, I only come out once in a while. But this time, I am so broke that I could no longer feed my two kids. And their father had abandoned us for the past four years. Even my boutique has been closed down because of poor financing due to the ailing economy.

“Anyway, all I know is that hope is not lost yet. This is just a period of pain, I believe there will be gain later. Our president only needs to listen to the people who can guide him in the aspect of the economy. I believe he needs to quickly do something on that so that every business can pick up again.”


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