By Haroon I Balogun
Barely two weeks to the Eid-Kabir celebration, prices of rams have remained out of reach for most Nigerians just as sellers groan under low patronage in Lagos, Ogun, Ibadan and Abuja. A survey conducted at the Kara Ram Market in Lagos along Lagos-Ibadan expressway reveals a significant rise in the price of various sizes of the animal compared to last year.
A ram seller in the area, Kabir Amodu, told Vanguard that the prices of small, medium and big rams are now higher when compared to last year. “The small, average and big rams this year are selling for N50,000, N70,000 and N150,000 as against N30,000, N40,000 and N80,000 respectively in 2017. “The high prices this year can be attributed to the economic downturn and insecurity in some parts of northern Nigeria where these rams are reared and transported to other parts of the country for sale. He stated that some of the sellers go as far as Niger Republic to buy them and pay heavily to transport them to the South-West.
“In Ibadan, another ram seller who identified himself as Jubrin Muhammed said: “I arrived here with about 150 rams since about a week ago, about half of what I used to bring every year. We went as far as Maiduguri and Chad to buy but we only got a few. Now, I have not sold up to 10 since I arrived about a week ago. People only come to haggle prices and go without buying. They are also crying that there is no money. It is not our fault, we did not buy them cheap. Even those ones we reared oursleves are expensive because it is not easy to feed and rear animals for two years or more. It costs so much money.”
In Abuja, prices are relatively cheaper than in the southern part of the country. According to investigation, prices of small, average and big rams are N40,000, N50,000 and N100,000.
A prospective buyer, Tajudeen Animashaun lamented the high cost of the rams, saying he could not believe what he was asked to pay for one average sized ram. “I could not buy and I just had to go back and from all indications, it will be higher in the next one week as the festival draws nearer. If Allah permits me to still buy, I will come and buy.” He explained that Allah has not put a burden on any Muslim who cannot afford a ram to buy. If you can afford, good, buy it, and if you can’t, then leave it. It is not a luxury, it is for sacrifice and Allah does not put any burden on anyone.