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Subsidy removal, naira devaluation hike ram price

“Last year, a ram selling at N200, 000 in the village is now N300, 000. You must also feed the ram apart from the high…

With a week to this year’s Eidel-Kabir celebration, Muslim faithful across Nigeria are lamenting the high cost of ram and other animals permissible for slaughtering even as traders attribute the exponential increase to the economic realities in the country.

Daily Trust reports that market surveys in Abuja, Lagos, Kwara and Kano states revealed as much as 100% increase in the cost of some of the animals, which traders have said affects the volume of trade compared to the previous years. 

While many of the traders attributed the increase in the cost of the animals to the high cost of transportation occasioned by the recent removal of subsidy on Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), others, especially those that import the animals from neighbouring countries, blamed the increase on the naira devaluation, which has weakened the purchasing power of the country’s currency. 

Daily Trust reports that petrol which was sold at N195 per litre before subsidy removal is now N540 or more depending on the location. Also, the US dollar was sold at N770 at the parallel market yesterday; and N757/$1 at the close of Import and Export window. 

On the part of buyers, the biting effect of economic realities has also complicated their decision on whether or not they would be able to afford rams or cattle for the sacrifice. This, they said, is because they have to weigh their decision against other pressing issues demanding equal attention.

One of our correspondents who visited some markets in Abuja yesterday observed that selling points were flooded with rams but with few buyers. 

Rams ‘untouchable’ 

Muhammadu Sani, who sells rams along Mike Akhigbe Way, Jabi, Abuja, lamented that the prices had jacked up even in the rural areas in the far northern states. 

“Last year, a ram selling at N200, 000 in the village is now N300, 000. You must also feed the ram apart from the high cost of transportation. A sack of animal feed is N8,000 even in rural areas. It was sold at half the price last year. All these costs must be factored. 

“We used to pay N6,000 to N8, 000 to ferry a ram from places like Jigawa and Katsina to Abuja. Presently, each ram can cost you not less than N10,000 to be transported to Abuja,’’ he said. 

According to him, the lowest price of rams range from N180,000, saying the big ones sell from N500,000 to N700,000. 

At the Kubwa Abattoir, the lowest price for a medium size ram is N60, 000 while big size ones go for as high as N320,000. 

At the Abattoir market in Karu, a buyer, Alhaji Yunusa Bello, lamented that he bought a small size ram for N120, 000, saying “I just bought it because there is nothing I can do.”

Another ram supplier who sells under Lake View Bridge at NEPA Quarters, Utako, Husseini Abubakar, told Daily Trust that the current high cost of living affected the price of rams and patronage as well. 

A buyer, Haruna Usman, told one of our reporters that he intended to buy four rams for himself and his relatives but was startled by the high price. 

Checks by Daily Trust in Lagos also indicated that some rams, which used to cost between N50, 000 and N60, 000 now go for N120, 000 and N130, 000. 

At Kara market along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, an average small sized ram costs N100, 000. 

A buyer, Lukman Aminu, who visited Kara yesterday to price rams ahead of Sallah also confirmed that prices have gone astronomically high. 

“Most of the rams I got are priced between N120,000; N130,000 and N140,000 at Kara Market. You can hardly get any ram of N50,000 or N60, 000 which we were used to. If you are lucky to get any, it would be too small to slaughter and fetch you any reward from Allah,” he said. 

In Kano, the situation is similar to what is obtainable in the FCT and Lagos as rams and other animals flooded the markets and streets amid low patronage. 

A dealer and one of the leaders of the Yan Awaki Animals Market in Kano, Dauda Sulaiman, said this year’s sales have dropped compared to last year.

He said the price of ram ranges between N30,000 and N270,000, adding that they are costly compared to the previous years. 

At another market in the state, where cows are sold, traders lamented over the cost of transportation. 

A dealer in Dan Agundi Cattle Market, Malam Usaini Idris, said there was poor sales compared to last year. 

“This year, there is no market. The main reason is that people have no money these days. We normally sell 20 to 30 every day in periods like this, but now we hardly sell 10 to 15. 

At the site where camels are sold, the marketers said the fall of the naira and costs of transportation are forcing the price to go higher this year. 

Nayaya Mai Rakumi, who sells at the Kofar Naisa Animals Market in Kano, said the average price of a camel starts from N250, 000 to N1, 200,000. 

He said they normally buy the camels from Niger Republic, Cameroon, Sudan and Chad.

“People are coming, but the problem is buying. They may come and not buy as the prices are costly. The cost of transportation is the major root of all these. A camel that was normally transported at N15, 000 from the Niger Republic has now doubled to N30,000. This has to affect the whole situation.

“Also, if we go to buy the camels from our neighbouring countries, we found out that our money has fallen against theirs. We had to buy it like that. But despite this, I think in the coming few days, people will buy more,” he added. 

Visits to ram markets in Oja Tuntun/Kuntun, Agbooba, Asa Dam, Irewolede and Mandate in Ilọrin, the Kwara State capital, showed that rams sold for between N55, 000 and N400,000 and above.

Some buyers expressed dissatisfaction over the high cost of the ram while hoping for a reduction in price before the celebration.

At Oja-Tuntun/Kuntun, a buyer, Waheed Yunus, said that he planned to purchase a big ram but ended up with a small one at the rate of N80, 000 compared to last year’s price. 

He said, “The same size I bought at the rate of N40, 000 is now sold for N80, 000. I thought I would end up buying a bigger ram for N80, 000. 

“I have visited many ram markets in town but couldn’t buy any because of the high cost, that is why I came here hoping to get a better bargain. It was a sorry case,” he added.

 

From Clement A. Oloyede,Zahraddeen Y. Shuaibu (Kano),Seun Adeuyi, Dalhatu Liman (Abuja),
Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos) & Mumini Abdulkareem (Ilorin)

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