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Onion protest in Nigeria – Gourmet Guide234 Kitchen
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Onion protest in Nigeria

Why onion has become the “new gold” in Nigeria - Bansoro

The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (OPMAN) has said it will cut off supply to entire southern Nigeria beginning from Monday, June 7, if the Federal government fails to respond to the association’s demands.

Addressing journalists after the association’s meeting in Sokoto at the weekend, OPMAN’s President, Aliyu Isa, stated that members of the association lost onions and property worth N4.5 billion in various attacks in the south.

Isa said during the Aba crisis in Abia State, the association lost three members, while about 30 trailers, 9 utility cars, 50 stores and 10,000 bags of onion, among other valuables belonging to their members, were destroyed. In Shasa, Oyo State, he said 27 lives, five trailers, 5,600 bag of Onions, 12 utility vehicles and other valuables were lost.

“After full deliberation by the executive members of this association and the failure of government to respond to our cry, we resolved…that we are shutting down the supply of onions to the entire South by Monday, June 7, 2021, unless all our demands are met”he said

Isah said that one of OPMAN’s demands is that its members who had suffered losses as a result of ethno-religious crises in the South must be duly compensated.

Below are some of the reasons highlighted by Onion traders; 

  • Increase in price of fertilizers 
  • Seasonal fluctuations 
  • Insecurity 
  • Strike actions resulting from the #EndSARS protests
  • General increment in the price of items amongst others 
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Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, the Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (OPMAN) has inaugurated the launch of documented onion exports to West Africa through the Illela land border in Sokoto State.

This was launched by Mr Abdulrahameed Ma’aji, the Area Controller of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), for Sokoto and Zamfara states on Thursday June 10, 2021.

He reportedly urged the onion traders to maximize the opportunity for enhanced production and trade with the continent.

He also added that the Customs Service had implemented laws and guidelines to improve Nigerian trade and encourage businesses to export to Africa.

National President of OPMAN, Aliyu Maitasamu, stated that the union was working with sister agencies to develop a recovery plan to boost production by 20% each year until 2026.

His words “In line with the Federal Government’s plan to diversify the economy and create jobs, the union in conjunction with sister bodies in West and Central Africa, developed an onion recovery plan which will target an average steady growth of 20 per cent each year, from 2020 to 2026,” he said.

“Nigeria is among the 10 top onion exporting countries in the world, and with competitive advantage of production, the largest onion producing country in sub-Saharan Africa, with annual 1.4 million metric tonnes in output.

“With the present arrangement, Nigeria will continuously export onions to Niger Republic, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Mali, Cote D’ Ivoire, and others, with more expanding opportunities,” Maitasamu added.

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