Redefining Business in the Nigerian Livestock Market

As Nigeria’s business landscape continues to expand, there appears to be growing opportunity for start-ups with innovative ideas, writes Raheem Akingbolu

Hitherto, it was a tedious and grinding encounter when one has to buy a goat, ram and most especially a cow, to host a function. Typically, as recounted by Mr. Abel Collins, who shared the last ugly experience he had when he went to purchase a cow for his late father’s funeral ceremony, you don’t buy a cow by going to only one market; you go to several livestock markets and check multiple cows against their prices before reaching a decision.

Also, the task of buying a cow may require one to set aside virtually the whole day, leaving other activities on hold while coping with the shenanigans of middlemen whose services would add up to the overall price of the desired livestock, anyway.

Hear Collins’ account: “What we wanted was a big cow,” he said. “We wanted a sizeable cow that can be sufficient for the ceremony we were planning. But we know that cows are expensive in Lagos. So we had to go outside Lagos to buy the cow. We bought the cow in Ogun state.”

Collins explained that, just to beat the annoying Lagos traffic and get to the market early enough before the place became crowded with customers and the best cows are bought, he and his younger brother had to leave the house as early as 5am.

“When we got to the market, there were many middlemen who assailed us, pulling us left and right to take us round to the various cattle traders scattered all over the market,” Abel Collins continued.

“It was all very confusing and annoying for me. They were speaking Hausa, arguing as they dragged us from one trader to the next until we finally got what we were looking for. All the while, we had to be conscious because we had cash on us. Someone could pick our pockets, you know. In the end, we had to pay the middlemen, we also paid policemen on our way back, and the traffic was insane all day.”

Needless to say, the exercise took the rest of the day, and the brothers got back home with their cow around 5pm, very exhausted.

But the experience of the Collins brothers is not an isolated one. It is very common. In fact, the account shared above would pale in comparison to encounters that some people may have had on the same trail. However, in this age of advance information technology, it makes no business sense to remain trapped in the past; doing things the old fashioned way when, at the touch of a button on our phones or computers, we can access the world. It goes without saying therefore, that there are better ways of carrying out regular business transactions and effecting payments with ease. Read More>>>