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Eid-el Kabir: Border closure, exchange rate jerk ram prices

Eid-el Kabir is five days away and ram dealers  are lamenting low patronage as some Muslims cannot afford the rams which are essential for the obligatory sacrifice carried out during the Eid-el Kabir festivities due to its high cost.

Traders in Kaduna noted, while speaking to Daily Trust on Sunday, that the prices for rams spiked due to the land borders closure and high exchange rate.

Mudasir Auwal, who had dozens of rams for sale, said the price range for his rams was from N60,000 and above. He, however, blamed the high cost on increase in transportation fare and high currency exchange rate. “We used to buy CFA Franc at N620 but now we buy it at N790.

The big rams you see are brought in from Niger, Chad and Cameroon but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the borders were closed so alternative routes were used to bring them into the country, thus resulting in additional cost,” he said.

However, the chairman of ram sellers at the Zango livestock market in Kaduna metropolis, Hassan Saleh, told Daily Trust on Sunday that though there is an increase in the prices of rams, it was still within the reach of the ordinary man.

“A ram can be purchased at the market depending on individual capacity. With the sum of N40, 000 to N100, 000 you can purchase a ram. Those who bring them into the country transact in CFA Franc, so we need to make currency conversions which is responsible for the high price.”

Moshood Adeleke had hoped to buy two rams but had to settle for one at the cost of N45, 000 “I usually buy two rams every year but this year’s price is beyond my budget. The ram I bought last year was bigger than what I’m being offered this year.

“I will go back a day before Sallah to check if the price has reduced,” he said. The scenario is not different in Maiduguri as the continued border closure has, to an extent, hindered the ram business in that area.

Fewer animals were on display at designated locations with consequent high prices which the dealers attributed to the insurgency, leading to the closure of access roads to villages and border towns.

A major dealer of rams at Bulunkutu livestock market near PHCN office along Jos Road in Maiduguri, Abakar Konduri, told our correspondent that because of the insurgency, the dealers did not get enough supplies from villages and neighbouring countries as compared to previous years, adding that they only got supplies of home-bred animals with high cost of feeding.

 Kakami Umaru, a dealer along Damboa Road in Maiduguri, agreed that cost of rams was higher this year. The price of smaller rams range from N40,000, while the size of ram that was sold for N50,000 last year is now N70,000 and might even go higher as Eid-el Kabir draws nearer.

Another livestock dealer at Bulunkutu livestock market, Alkali Modu, expressed concern that there could be a scarcity of rams this year as major suppliers come from villages and the insurgents had rustled most of their herds while very few animals were brought to the city.

He added that a big ram is sold at N100,000 and above, while medium size is about N70,000 and small size is sold at the rate of N45,000.

Umaru Aliyu Maigana, who was seen at the main cattle market in Maiduguri trying to buy a ram, he expressed disappointment that the prices were beyond his reach and may jettison the plan to partake in the ritual this year.

Bilyaminu Yusuf said he bought his rams early to avoid the hike in prices but noted that there is a difference between this year and last.

Prices of ram in parts of Lagos remain high even as traders complain of low patronage in many markets visited by our correspondent. As at the time of filing this report, the least price of a ram in most of the markets is N40,000 which many buyers say is on the high side.

At Meiran Market along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, findings by Daily Trust on Sunday show that prices of ram range from N40,000 to N120,000. The prices of cows, on the other hand, are within the range of N100,000 to N150,000.

Ismaila Aregbo, who bought a ram at N60,000, said it was too high this year but gave thanks to God for giving him the means to afford one.

Muhammad Sadiga, a ram seller at Ahmadiyya, also complained of low patronage even as he called on the state government to urgently pay workers’ salary to enable the Muslim faithful among them buy the sacrificial animal. In Edo State, the situation isn’t any different.

Our reporter who visited the Eyaen ram market observed rams displayed for sale but there were no buyers. A ram seller, Aliko Haruna, told Daily Trust on Sunday that a big sized ram goes for between N120,000 and N180,000.

“An average sized ram cost between  N60,000 and N80,000 while the small size goes for between N40,000 and N50,000.” He noted that sales could pick up a few days to Sallah.

However, the situation in Kano is relatively different as both buyers and sellers said the prices of rams, and other domestic animals meant for Eid-el-Adha, are relatively cheaper this year compared to last year.

Malam Ali Ahmed, a ram seller at the Yan Awaki livestock market, Unguwa Uku, said, “Generally, in terms of prices, one could say that the animals are cheaper compared to last year. This is largely due to the fact that people don’t have money due to COVID-19 pandemic.”

He, however, added, “When you consider that people don’t have money, then the issue of affordability becomes a different thing. Nevertheless, we load seven to eight trailers to other parts of the country, especially the southern part. Also speaking with Daily Trust on Sunday, another seller at Hotoro Tinshama, Abdullahi Muhammad, said prices of animal range from N65,000 to N75,000 for the moderately big rams and as low as N15,000 for the smaller ones.

However, at ‘Yan Awaki, some of the rams cost as high as N175,000 to N200,000. These were rams mostly brought from Niger Republic, while others were brought from Potiskum in Yobe State. Muhammad Sani Kofar Wambai, who deals in rams and other animals in the southern part of the country, said what was sold N40,000 last year is about N35,000 this year.

– www.dailytrust.com.ng

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