Investigations at ram markets in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital and neighbouring towns like Ajase Ipo and Offa showed many rams on sale with few buyers, just 48 hours to this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
At ram markets located at GSS, Oke Ose, Sango, and Mandate markets in Ilorin and Ajase Ipo in Irepodun Local Government area of the state, ram sellers said they recorded drop in sales.
Chairman of Fulani cattle breeders association, Miyetti Allah, which is the umbrella body of cattle breeders associations, Alhaji Usman Adamu, while speaking with Saturday Tribune, lamented low sales and patronage this year.
He said the smallest ram was N40,000 this year, adding that a ram obtained for N50,000 last year could only be got at not less than N100, 000 this year.
In Osogbo, capital of Osun State, ram sellers at the popular Powerline ram market were complaining about low patronage as Muslims prepare for Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
One of the ram sellers, Alhaji Ibrahim Ajibade, said few people that were coming had not been buying rams.
“They prefer to buy he-goats, which are cheaper than ram. But, we are hopeful that sales may improve by tomorrow (today) or Sunday.”
One of the buyers, Mr Kazeem Ojuolape, who spoke to Saturday Tribune lamented that prices of rams were exorbitant. “Look at this one and the size that I bought for N45,000. I would have preferred to buy something bigger, but where do I get the money? Things are very hard.”
In Enugu, the cost of ram has gone up by 100 percent. A visit to old and new artisan markets, Enugu on Friday showed that there was low demand for ram as Muslim festivals are mostly celebrated in the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army barracks as well as some parts of Igboeze North and Igboeze South Local Government areas of the state.
Malam Musa Kabiru, who said a big ram was sold at N25,000.00 as against the old price of N15,000.00, lamented the poor sales of ram in the market.
, “No customer at all. I sell nothing since morning. No market again. Customer no come. Before we bring many rams today small small number,” he said.
•Buyers desert ram markets in Warri
The price of ram and other commodities have increased in recent times due to the harsh economic situation in Nigeria.
Findings on Friday showed that prices of ram at Igbudu and Ugbuwangue markets in Warri have increased.
This is just as it seems buyers have collectively decided to boycott the ram markets due to their high cost.
According to Alhaji Mode, a ram seller, “Market dey fine, everything dey go well for here, the biggest size we sell N80,000, N90,000, medium N65,000 and N70,000.”
At Ugbuwangue market, also in Warri, traders complained of low patronage.
Alhaji Abubakar Mahmud, one of the traders from the north, while bemoaning the lull, said: “The price high, yes, the thing cost, I go buy for North carry reach Warri, people no dey price well; the price I buy for North them go price am low pass for here, no market much.
“Yesterday, I sell only two rams, you see everything cost, the big one na N90,000, some N65,000, N40,000; goat self price don high,” he noted.
Another ram seller at Ugbuwangue market, Usman Muazu, also said in pidgin, “market no dey because wen them come like this, them go follow you price them no go buy, everything don increase before the one of 50 now 60 to 70 thousand, everything cost, and market no dey come plenty.”
Meanwhile, the lull in patronage was evident at both Igbudu and Ugbuwangue ram markets as Saturday Tribune could not sight a single buyer for comments on the disturbing cost of rams ahead the sallah celebration.
Cheap rams, low sales in Akure
About 48 hours to this year’s Eid-el-Kabir festival, ram sellers in Akure the Ondo State capital, are lamenting low sales, despite reduction in the prices of the rams.
A visit to the major markets where rams are being sold indicated that the price of the rams has dropped drastically compared to the prices of the goats and rams last week.
One of the ram sellers at the market along the Ilesha garage, Morufu Hassan attributed the low sales to the low population of Muslims in Akure but said the ram markets in Ikare, Owo and Ondo recorded great sales.
However, one of the buyers who visited the market, Aliu Balogun said price of the rams was still affordable, saying “a good ram is sold between N25,000 and N60,000. I think this is better to what we experienced few weeks ago. The rams are cheap now but there’s no cash to buy it.”
Buyers complain price hike in Nasarawa
In Nasarawa State, buyers have the raised alarm over the price hike of rams in the market.
Saturday Tribune’s visit to Makurdi Road Market, revealed that there was a 100 percent increase in the prices of ram compared to the previous sallah celebration.
Malam Salihu Mai Rabo, a trader who sells rams at the market, said “ as it is now, the biggest ram goes for N70,000 against the former price of N30, 000.”
He blamed the price hike on the economic downturn in the country, saying it had greatly affected patronage.
However, one of the prospective buyers, Hajiya Hajara Sabo, who spoke to Saturday Tribune said, “ we cannot afford to buy a ram that we were buying at N30,000 before for N70,000 even as our salaries have not been paid,”
She called on the government to address the issue of economic hardship in order to avoid issues of death relating to hunger.