Residents of Kwara State have heaved a sigh of relief over the recent resumption of food supplies and cattle to the South by Northern foodstuff sellers and cattle dealers.
The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) had embarked on the strike in protest against the killing of its members and demanded N475 billion compensation for the lives and properties lost during the EndSARS protest and the recent Shasa market crisis.
Expectedly, prices of foodstuff, vegetables and beef skyrocketed in Kwara and other parts of southern Nigeria.
When our reporter visited the popular Mandate market, Ilorin on Wednesday, meat sellers, who were largely absent while the issue lasted, were seen in their numbers at the market.
The sellers, who spoke to North Central Trust, said they were out of business owing to the unavailability of cattle at abattoirs due to high prices.
A big basket of tomato, which sold for N35,000 during the scarcity now sells at between N5,000 and N7,000.
Also, a bag of pepper has returned to between N8,000 and N10,000 from about N17,000..
Speaking on the development, the Iyaloja of tomato and pepper sellers, Mandate market, Mariam Omotosho, expressed joy over the ending of the blockade.
According to her, the strike paralysed commercial activities at the market.
“We thank God there is surplus of the commodity now. The period the blockade lasted was hard for us all.
“A basket of tomato is now between N5000 and N7,000. A bag of pepper is now sold for about N8,000. During the scarcity, a medium-size basket of tomato went for N17,000 while a bag of pepper cost N20,000. But it has all reduced now.
“We thank God that the government intervened in the issue as business activities have returned at the market fully,” she enthused.
However, the price of beans remained relatively the same at N23,000 for a small bag and N46,000 for the big bag, though in some markets, the big bag is sold for N55,000.
The story is the same in other markets across the state.
At Yoruba road market, a meat seller, Rukayat Alawo, told North Central Trust that meat had become a scarce commodity. “Cow leg, which was formerly sold for N7,000, went to N20,000 but we thank God it has passed.
“It’s been a problem selling beef because people were not buying meat because of the high price, which shot up since the stoppage of cattle supply because of the recent Shasa crisis.
At Obbo road, Tajudeen Olatunji said meat sellers were selling at a loss because of the high price of meat before now adding that the government should do everything within its power to maintain the peace and promote trade and commerce in the country.