Minna – Barely a week to the Eid-Kabir celebration, prices of rams have gone up as sellers groan under low patronage in Minna, the Niger capital.
A survey conducted at the Turaku Ram Market reveals a significant rise in the price of various sizes of the animal compared to last year.
A spokesman for the ram sellers, Alhaji Mohammed Garkuwa, told NAN that small, medium and big rams now sell at higher prices when compared to last year.
“The small, average and big rams this year are selling at N30, 000, N50, 000 and N150, 000 as against N17,000, N35, 000 and N80, 000 respectively in 2015.
“The high prices this year can be attributed to the increased cost of transporting these rams from Niger Republic where we buy them,” he said.
One of the ram sellers, Malam Bala Sani, revealed that customers were only coming to negotiate prices without buying them.
“People have been coming but most of them only bargain without buying. People are crying that there is no money.
“But they must understand that we didn’t buy them cheap, so there is nothing we can do really but pray things improve in the coming days,” he added.
Another seller, who identified himself as Nura Garba, said that unlike in 2015 where an individual could come and buy between 10 and 20 rams, none had done such this year.
Also Hajiya Laraba Guni, a prospective buyer, lamented the high cost of the rams, saying she only came out to inquire about the prices before taking a decision.
“I am only here to find out the prices and then I would go back home and decide.
“ But from the look of things my household may not enjoy the luxury of eating ram this year.
“But I have to go home first and work it out to see if buying the rams will be realistic given the exorbitant prices,” she said.
Other buyers expressed hope that the prices would fall when more rams flood the market in the coming days.
Many ram markets have sprung up on major roads in Minna, resulting in a traffic gridlock.