Cattle and foodstuff traders in northern Nigeria have agreed to resume transportation of food items to the south.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt the group under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria reached an agreement at a meeting with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State on Wednesday.
A former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, attended the meeting.
“I’ve gotten the commitment of the union. In order for us not to continue to have this hardship across the country to lift the ban on food and livestock transportation to the south,” Mr Bello said.
“I’ve also gotten major commitment from people from the south not to attack people of Hausa/Fulani and the traders in the south and that the criminals among them irrespective of tribe and religion should be handed over to law enforcement agents.
“I’ve also gotten the commitment that their lives and properties will be protected also.
“So, these are the messages we brought to the the chief of staff to convey to the president.”
The union went on strike last week asking the government to pay compensation to its members that were recently attacked and ensure their protection.
It demanded the payment of N475 billion compensation for lives of members and properties lost during the #EndSARS protest and Shasa market chaos.
Also, the group demanded that the government should order the dismantling of all road blocks on federal highways
The strike forced prices of onions, tomatoes, and beef to rise in several cities in southern Nigeria.
At the popular Mile 12 market in Lagos, this newspaper observed Tuesday that meat sellers across the market were largely absent and there was scarcity of tomatoes, pepper and some other food items brought from the northern part of the country.
When PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter visited the market, the few available tomatoes traders were besieged by a crowd of desperate buyers haggling prices.
A big basket of tomatoes, which sold between N5, 000 to N6,000 before the food blockade, sold for as high as N35, 000 on Tuesday. Similarly, a bag of pepper was sold at an average price of N17, 000, from a relatively lower price of between N8, 000 and N10, 000 last week.
“This crate of tomatoes is N13, 000. We sold it for N2,500, even N2, 000 when there was plenty goods. See around, no tomatoes in the market,” a trader told our reporter, pointing at the crate of tomatoes.
Some other sellers sold crates of tomatoes between N11, 000 and N8, 500, depending on how fresh they looked.
“The price of pepper has even gone down today, as at yesterday (Monday), we sold a bag for N28, 000,” a trader said.
The situation was similar in other states.
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