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Traders lament closure of livestock market in Akwa Ibom

Livestock traders in Akwa Ibom have bemoaned the closure of their market by the state government saying business activities have declined considerably in the wake of the ban with huge losses recorded.

Governor Udom Emmanuel recently reaffirmed the ban during an interaction saying the livestock market in the state would not be lifted despite the inter-state boundaries being reopened.the livestock markets were shut down about three months ago by the state government as apart of measures to check the spread of coronavirus.

A visit to the former Akwa Ibom bus terminal at Itam in Uyo metropolis which now serves as the new livestock market shows that only a handful of goats were available for sale unlike before where the entire complex would have been taken over the animals.

Apart from the high cost of goats, it was found out that the sales have also declined while the method of bringing in livestock from the northern part of the country has changed.

According to one of the traders, the few goats available are brought in from neighboring states like Abia and Rivers and Cross Rivers states where livestock markets are still in operations

The trader who simply identified himself as Abu said marginal profit per head of cattle has equally declined because of the high cost of bringing them into the state through unconventional routes saying that with the high cost, only a few buyers were showing up in the market daily.

Lamenting that traders have lost their businesses and means of livelihood due to the ban, he appealed to the state government to provide soft loans to livestock traders to cushion the effect of the ban which he said has hit their businesses hard.

‘We want the state government to come to our assistance by granting us loans for us to recoup the losses we incurred as a result of the ban,’’ he said.

He also bemoaned the demolition of stalls within the livestock market by the state government and the introduction of sundry charges as business registration by the ministry of agriculture saying it has further affected their businesses..

Before the ban, livestock trading was a thriving business providing income to hundreds of people as Akwa Ibom State depends solely on goats and cattle brought into the state from other parts of the country.
Many consumers rely on goat meat and beef products as the main source of protein in the state as fish and marine products are often more expensive, according to checks.
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