South-West states have started feeling the heat of the strike action embarked upon by members of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) as prices of beef, food and vegetables in the markets have skyrocketed.
AUFCDN, which is an affiliate of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), commenced a nationwide strike last Thursday following the expiration of a seven-day ultimatum given to the federal government to attend to its demands.
The union had demanded the protection of its members, payment of N475 billion compensation for lives of members and properties lost during the #EndSARS protest, and the Shasa market crisis in Ibadan.
It also demanded the dismantling of all roadblocks on federal highways where their members are harassed and money is extorted from them by the authorities.
The strike entails closing all routes between the North and South for vehicles conveying cattle and food items. Such vehicles are stopped from reaching the Southern region.
A visit to the market by effiezy gathered that there is over a 200 percent increase in the cost of food items in Lagos markets.
A yam dealer, Beatrice, said that the blockage had not only affected the cost of food items transported from the North but every other food item.
She said, “As you can see, I really don’t have much stock here because they are not allowing the trucks to come into the South, so the ones we have here have become more expensive. This one (displaying a small tuber of yam) costs N700, nothing less. I am selling it at that price because it is from my old stock. I learnt the ones they manage to bring in now are very costly.
“The market is now very dry. Look in those directions (pointing to tomato sellers), you’ll see that they are very unaffordable, we are even tired.”
A butcher at Kara Market, Akute told SaharaReporters that the market had been shut since Monday morning as there were no cows to kill. He stated that the abattoir has been shut since last Thursday and that the situation was affecting beef sellers and consumers in the area.
“I have a store at Kara market and this morning, when we got there, we realised it had been locked up. The trucks that bring in cows to the South are no more coming so there is really nothing to work with. The cows butchered last week were even few in number. That’s the reason why food items are costly.