Butchers in Niger State have bemoaned the high cost of buying cattle, due to the ban of livestock markets in some North West and North Central states of the country.
Several Northern states governments, including Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara had recently shut down livestock markets and announced the ban on the transportation of livestock as part of the means devised to curb banditry.
According to the butchers, they usually travel to Katsina and several other livestock market within the state to purchase livestock, Daily Trust reported.
“We used to buy livestock from Tungan-Kwasa and Kuta under Paikore, and Wushishi local government areas, respectively here in Niger State.
“We also travel to livestock markets in Charanchi, Batsari, Dan-Musa and Yankara in Katsina State, but all this is no longer possible because of the closure of the markets,” Umar Sani, a butcher at Suleja abattoir said.
Another butcher in the market, Surajo Abdullahi said the situation has led to a hike in the prices of livestock, in addition to that of transporting them.
“For instance, a cow that we usually bought at N200,000 in Katsina State, now costs about N230,000, apart from the high cost of transportation. Only a few of us are still able to travel to those areas,” he said.
Abdullahi further added that because of the ban, they now slaughter about 250 cows a day as opposed to 300 before the ban.
“In the past, I travelled to Talatan-Mafara, Shinkafi and Gusau in Zamfara State, and also Mai-Aduwa, Charanchi, Dan-Kama, and Sabuwa, in Katsina State, as well as Miriga, Tungan-Mallam, and Beji in neighbouring Niger State; but one thing for sure is that we are faced with a rush for the few available livestock which has caused a rise in their prices ” another butcher, Sani Yarima said.
Yarima further disclosed that they are forced to sell a kilo of meat at not more than N2,500 for fear of losing their customers.