By Osa Okhomina, Yenagoa
Residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital are groaning under the biting effect of the strike action embarked upon by the cattle and foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and cattle dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) with scarcity of beef and rise in the prices of food stuffs.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the movement of cattle into Yenagoa has reduced significantly in the last two weeks resulting to an increase of the retail prices of beef in the markets.
At the popular abattoir located at Swali Market, those dealing in the wholesale buying of live cows have also reduced from over a hundred to thirty-five persons due to the scarcity of cows supply and the high cost.
One of the dealers who identified himself as Olaoluwa described the situation as pathetic and said except there is an intervention which will allow supply of cows to Yenagoa, the cost of beef will remain high.
He confirmed that only one truck entered Yenagoa last Thursday and they are expecting that it will improve soon. He also said the supply of goats is the worst as they haven’t gotten delivery in the last one month.
Olaoluwa said in the last one week, the cattle dealers were only able to supply a truck to Yenagoa and at a cost of N150,000 per cow instead of the usual N100,000.
“In the past, one person could buy a cow and resell for the public. But now, if one person buys the cow, he cannot sell alone. He will search for those to share with him to meet up the gains.”
A LEADERSHIP check at the food stuff section of the Swali Market revealed that the food stuff is being sold at very high prices.
One of the Women leaders in Kpansia and Swali markets argued that though the rise in prices of food stuffs started last year during the #EndSARS protests, some food stuffs such as vegetables and Yam being brought into the state from the northern part are affected by additional cost.
One Madam Ebiere, who deals in Pepper and Tomatoes, said the few supplies of goods to Yenagoa is already showing signs of rise in the cost of food stuff. He called on relevant authorities to assist in prevailing on those involved in food blockage to resume work and allow prices to remain low.
LEADERSHIP recalled that the cattle and foodstuff dealers under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and cattle dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN), 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 their demands.