Isiaka Mohammed, Chairman of Livestock Sellers in Calabar says he keeps N1 million for settlements at checkpoints to move his livestock from the north to Cross River.
Mr Mohammed said this to the News Agency of Nigeria while reacting to the Eid-el-Kabir celebration and the prices of rams in the market.
The Federal Government had declared Wednesday and Thursday as public holidays for the celebration.
The chairman alleged that the price of rams was high, not exactly due to the fuel subsidy removal but because of the excessive extortions on the road from the north to south.
He said the trucks that brought in their animals from the north were powered by diesel and the price of diesel was gradually going down, so, their challenge was not actually fuel but extortions.
“Moving from the north to the south, there are so many checkpoints and for some of them, you have to pay as high as N30,000 before you are allowed to pass through.
When you spend such amount of money for extortion alone, it will affect the price of the rams.
“You have all the security agencies on the roads at so many different spots, veterinary agents, even so many state owned groups that you don’t understand.
“With that amount, you will settle and settle until you get to Calabar; so, for this year, the price of ram of average size that I sold for N120,000 last year is sold for N150,000; there is an addition of N20,000 to N30,000 on each of the rams,” he said.
Mr Mohammed said that the increase in price was already affecting patronage but they had no choice, other than to sell as they bought after adding all the expenses.
He added that government needed to help them to curtail the extortions on the roads because he believed that the government was aware of the situation.