A recent strike by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN), which has blocked routes linking northern and southern Nigeria in protest of the recent attacks on traders in some South West states, has generated diverse reactions across the country.
Northern farmers and marketers are expressing their distress over the effects of the blockade, with farm produce selling at extremely low prices in the north, while union activity drives up the prices of beef, vegetables and other perishable commodities in the southern part of the country and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
This comes after trucks bringing foodstuffs to the southern part of Nigeria were turned back at Kara Jebba, the last village between Niger and Kwara States, preventing the delivery of southbound food and, in turn, causing pricing instability across Nigeria.
While discussing the dilemma with journalists, Northern farmers explained that before the protest, they would usually transport several truckloads of goods south on a daily basis, a routine that the strike has all but halted.
Traders of perishable goods like tomatoes are among those hardest hit by the blockade, their produce being prone to rot in the absence of buyers, while others able to sell have been forced to offer their produce at a very poor rate due to excessive supply.
By contrast, traders from the south and Abuja are complaining about broad price hikes across the food and commodity markets, with meat becoming largely absent along with other goods provided from the northern part of Nigeria, such as tomatoes and pepper.