Food scarcity looms as northern traders threaten to down tools over illegal taxation


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Food stuff and cattle traders under the umbrella of The Amalgamated Union of Food Stuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AFUCDN) have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over what they call illegal roadblocks and multiple taxations on its members.

Just in March, the union halted the movement of food supply to the south-west over similar allegations, including extortion of and attacks on members.

The action was suspended after the intervention of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi.

Addressing journalists at the end of an emergency meeting on Tuesday, Muhammed Tahir, national president of the union, said after reviewing the issues, the union have decided to support onion traders who had commenced cutting supply to the southern part of the country owing to the same issues.

He said the union would cut the supply of food nationwide if the federal government failed to meet its demands within three weeks.

The President however said AFUCDN is not on strike presently but may not guarantee industrial harmony after three weeks if its demands are not met.

Similarly, Magama Saleh, legal adviser to the union, said the government must do the needful to avert cutting food supply across the country.

“This is an emergency meeting in regards to what is happening to our members in south-east and south-south Nigeria, this is also to brief our members nationwide on the aftermath of the three-month strike,” he said.

“Today’s resolution is that we are declaring support to the various unions under the umbrella of the amalgamated union.

“The onion association has embarked on strike last night and only to the south, and as a national union, we have discussed extensively and have resolved to support them on their industrial action.

“We have written a reminder letter to the federal government, through the ministry concerned and security agencies reminding them of their previous promises to the union.

“They are yet to do anything concerning it. If nothing is done between now and in three weeks time, we may be forced to sit and have another resolution. ”

Earlier, Ekocitymagazine had reported that Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (OPMAN) had announced that it would the supply of onions to the southern region owing to the hijacking of two of their members’ trucks by gunmen in Imo state.

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