Southern states in Nigeria are currently experiencing Beef Scarcity and a rise in the price of food items. This is following 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).
Recall that, AUFCDN, an affiliate of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), had earlier demanded compensation for the death of its members as well as properties destroyed during the EndSars protest in October 2020. The group has given the Federal government a seven-day ultimatum to attend to their demands.
The Union is demanding protection of its members, and payment of N475 billion compensation for lives of members and properties lost during the #EndSARS protest as well as the Shasa market crisis in Ibadan. The group has also demanded that roadblocks on federal highways where their members are harassed and money extorted from them by security operatives be dismantled.
Due to the strike, all routes between the North and South for vehicles conveying cattle and food items were stopped from reaching the Southern region.
Lagos is one of the states worst hit by the strike. The state scramble for beef as price hike. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while commissioning a new semi-mechanized abattoir for cows and goats in Bariga recently, said that the state consumes over 50 percent of animal production in Nigeria.
According to reports, The chairman of United Butchers of Lagos State Abattoir Complex, Oko-Oba in Agege, Abdullahi Ahmed, said that before the strike, about 1,000 cows were slaughtered daily at the abattoir while close to 1,500 cows were slaughtered on Saturdays.
“Now, we cannot slaughter up to 200 because there are no cows. What we are slaughtering are the ones being reared here and they are small,” he said.
The strike has made many residents turn to fish instead of beef while those who had planned to buy fresh pepper and tomatoes for storage purposes could no longer do so.
At Shasa Market in Ibadan, where a civil unrest resulted in the death of many people from the North and helped trigger the strike, prices have also gone up.
Major southern states such as; Rivers, Imo, Bayelsa has also experienced hike in food and beef prices.