A market where, Over 275 trucks loaded with yams exit the market every week apart from Sundays and Over 340,000 tubers of yams go out of the market on a daily basis.
The inability of the Benue State government to upgrade the Zaki Biam International Yam Market despite the huge revenue being generated from the
market is raising concerned, that we may be force to do the needful, reference to cross River Ban on exportation of Banana and Niger Delta fight for incentives.
Today, nobody would be hearing of Ukum local government across the country Nigeria, if not for the fact that the local govt houses the largest yam
market in West Africa, with the highest level of poverty among her indigenes.
Zaki Biam is roughly a 35mins drive from katsina ala, one of the four major cities in Benue State.
Approaching the entrance of the Zaki Biam International Yam Market, one could easily notice the untarred road and the absence of other basic amenities.
Zaki Biam market just as every other big markets in Benue is sectionalized with a hug section reserved for sales of yams only.
People from all parts of Nigeria troops into this market daily to buy and
stock yams for sales, as much as you may not get yams relatively cheaper than those from local markets in Benue State, here you can get almost all species of yams and in all shapes.
This is one of the few markets that you can stand at a spot and buy a full trailer load of yams.
Sellers in this markets belong to their yam unions so it’s relatively safe to trust any real seller you meet in the market because you are sure of getting
justice if you report any misdeed to their union chairman.
A friend Tyonor Smith gisted me that insecurity in the Sankera axis almost crippled activities in the market, the recent ban on motorcycle operators
popularly called Okada by the state security council was a relief for the yam farmers and traders who stopped farming and trading due to persistent
attacks by the bandits.
Added to this is the loose security in the market, as all the five exit points could not be closed, which led to frequent attacks by bandits, a situation that almost crippled activities at the market.
So far, the federal government have constructed two warehouses, a police post and offices at the market to address the problems of storage and insecurity, my friend Tyonor Smith said the contractors executed shoddy jobs.
A close friend of mine Alia Jennifer Alia, a regular of ZAKI-BIAM market said they are five drainages but none was reconstructed, so during the rainy season, the market will be flooded and trucks will find it difficult to gain access and because of this, the union had to construct one drainage.
The borehole and toilets built by the federal government are not functioning due to the shortage of water because the sumo is faulty and cannot pump water.
We are appealing to the government to assist us because the borehole is now an abandoned project, se said.
She added that drivers of each truck load of yams pays N3000 to the local government, aside the monies collected by the Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) amounting to approximately N780,000 per week.
The yam market have a total of 650 yam shops popularity called shields Sometimes in last year 2020, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo commissioned two warehouses, offices and a police post at the market, with a promise that the federal government would provide access roads and street lights.
Keenly we are still waiting to no avail.
However, until the people liberate their mindset, the
same story line continues!!