Maigatari Market, a very popular locale known for its own specialty for years has been in existence for more than one hundred and eighty years. The market is where people/merchants come from far and near mostly from the West African sub region to trade. It is the largest market in Africa and a hub for trading mainly in animals, though other items like locally made pots, caps, mats, food stuffs like kuka, lalo, maize and beans are sold.
Maigatari market is home to snake charmers, violinists and talking drummers who entertain visitors to the market. The Fulani’s also exhibit various cultural outfits in different styles and attractive colours. This brings out the beauty of the market and an opportunity for different people to explore the culture and languages of different kinds of people. It is a place where young men and women get to meet their friends and loved once from other parts of the country; even those who are within the market tend to meet mostly during this a week and that is on Thursdays.
In Maigatari market things are cheap, that is why people more especially from the neighbouring countries of Mali, Ghana, Niger, and Chad always patronize the market to purchase livestock. According to a source, the Jigawa state government is trying to develop the market to a standard market which they intend to expand by constructing a bypass road that will reduce the delay of other travellers coming from Bauchi, Yola, Maiduguri and so on as well as the provision of a convenient place for the marketers and their customers. The government is also seeking investors for the construction of an ultra modern market with modern facilities.
The major things sold in the market are animals like cows, donkeys, camels. People from Onitsha often come to buy donkeys, goats while people from Niger Republic come to buy cows and sell camels, although they also buy grains.
Maigatari Market is an Export Free Zone which has facilitated a business link between the Jigawa people and neighbouring countries, encouraged unity in cultural diversity, enhance tourism as a destination and help boost revenue to the state
By Aisha Saleh