Creek road market, Hausa biggest yam market in Rivers | Dailytrust

Creek road market, Hausa biggest yam market in Rivers

Creek road market, Hausa biggest yam market in Rivers
Creek road market, Hausa biggest yam market in Rivers

Popularly known as yam zone, the Creek Road Town Market is one of the most popular markets located along Creek Road in old Port Harcourt Township. The market is the biggest yam market controlled by the Hausa traders in Rivers and other South South states.

 

The market, which started as a transit market, gained prominence in the late 1980s when traders from the northern part of Nigeria used to offload yam in the area.

As the market grew, the Hausa traders took charge and have dominated it. Since yam is a staple food consumed in all parts of the country, buyers come from beyond Port Harcourt and its environs. The yams sold at the market are sourced from Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states.

Apart from yam, other food items like beans, rice, onions and vegetables are sold in different sections of the market. However, a larger part of the market is controlled by Hausa traders who sell yams in bulk as well as food items like fish, chicken and other livestock.

The market attracts a lot of buyers and sellers, especially wholesalers. Customers from across the 23 local government areas of the state as well as neighbouring Bayelsa, Imo and Abia states throng the market.

The yam zone market has created a value chain in the area of transportation, loaders and cart pushers. The business creates an opportunity for transporters who transport the foodstuff from one point to another while it has also created jobs for youths who offload goods from the trucks to the storage facilities.

Alhaji Musa Saidu, the South South Coordinator of Arewa Initiative For Peaceful Co-existence, said the Creek Road yam zone market is the destination for different species of yams.

Alhaji Saidu, who is also a Port Harcourt-based business man, agreed that yam zone is the biggest yam market in the whole south south zone of Nigeria.

“The market which has been in existence for years is a household name in yam business. All the yams you see in the market are brought in from the North. The North has good species of yam and they come mostly from the three states of Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau. I am a versatile businessman and I can tell you that the yam from the North is the best.

“If you compare yam from Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau to the ones brought from other parts of the country, you will find out that the ones from the North are the best. They are not watery compared to other ones brought in from other parts of the country. That is the reason why people rush them,” he said.

He said truck loads of yam are offloaded in the market on daily basis and sold to prospective buyers.

He noted that the Hausa community has enjoyed very good and cordial relationship with the people of Rivers State and so called on all traders of Hausa extraction residing in the state to live in peace with their neighbours and obey the laws of the land.

A trader, Sani Abdullahi, who has been doing business in the market since 1995, said “Yam zone is a household name in Rivers and neighbouring states. People from different parts of the state come here to buy yam in large quantities for retail and for personal use. The market has created various value chains which people cash in on to take care of their needs and sustain their various families. We get our consignments on a daily basis from Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states. But most of our customers come here to buy yam in large quantities and go back to sell on retail basis,” he said.

He said that the major challenge faced by traders is the activities of revenue agents from the local government area who, he said, come to harass and extort money from them.

He called on the state to give them the needed protection to enable them succeed in their business.

Another trader, Usman Idris, said,”Yam zone started as a transit market and later metamorphosed into a big market where large tubers of yams are brought in large quantities for ready buyers. We get our stock from Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau states. As you can see, trucks bring the yams almost on a daily basis and we have customers who come from far and near to buy yam. We have ready buyers and most of them buy in large quantities for retail and personal use. We also have those who buy and use carts to move round the streets of Port Harcourt for retail sales,” he said.

He said buyers prefer yam from the North, especially from Benue because it is very sweet and does not have excess water.

A regular visitor to the market, Beatrice Amadi, said she preferred buying yam from the market because of its affordability.

“I prefer coming here to buy yam than any other market because the prices of yam here; it’s somehow pocket friendly. Another thing is that the quality of yam you see here is good,” she said.

Some of the youths engaged in offloading of the yams said the business has created an avenue to make money and take care of their personal needs.

Akpan Okon, an off loader, said he earns between N3000 and N4000 everyday from offloading yam from the trucks.

“I am from Akwa Ibom State but I come here  daily to help in offloading yam from trucks. In a day, we may offload one or two trucks, from which I make between N3000 and N4000. The work has helped me so much to take care of my personal needs. There are no jobs anywhere so the best thing we can do is to find something to do to help us pay our bills,” he said.

Apart from yams, other food items like birds – chicken, parrots, turkey and animals such as goats, sheep etc, are also sold in the market.

 

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