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Sallah: Muslims bemoan high cost of ram, transportation

By Eniola Daniel
06 July 2022   |   3:52 am
Muslim faithful, yesterday, bemoaned the hike in prices of rams and food items, against expectations that prices will be more affordable this year compared to 2021.

Muslim faithful, yesterday, bemoaned the hike in prices of rams and food items, against expectations that prices will be more affordable this year compared to 2021.

   
Many, who visited ram markets in Lagos for this year’s Eid-el-Kabir expressed disappointment that prices of ram has increased far beyond their budgets.
   
Both sellers and buyers, who spoke to The Guardian lamented that while they hoped for change and better living, the situation becomes very tough.  
   
A buyer at Obalende, Lagos, said: “What has happened after our complaints? The price was high last year and we complained, but it has increased this year.   

The Chairman, Lagos State Ram Sellers Association, Gbagada Abubakar Langa, simply told The Guardian that the hike is compounded by increase in price of diesel.

“Everything has increased in Nigeria.  So, it’s not about us.”
 Also, a buyer at the Gbagada ram market, Ajibola Samsudeen, lamented over the 45 per cent increase.

 
He said: “I think it has to do with logistics, because they keep complaining of the price of diesel.  So, everything keeps going up, but we hope that the price of diesel will come down. But if it doesn’t come down, we will have to cut our coat according to our cloth.
 
“Every Muslim should pray to God and they should elect a good leader because a leader is very important. We cannot hope for a better country without a good leader, and things will be normalised if there is a good leader and we can smile again. But right now, everybody is frowning while buying ram.”
  
Another seller, Buba Maruwa, said: “What we sold for N80, 000 last year goes for N150,000 this year; we have rams of N200,000, N350,000 and above. We also spend a lot getting the rams down to Lagos, we are not rearing them here.  I came from Jigawa State to sell for Sallah in Lagos and we spend so much coming here.”
 
Also, Babagana Haudu, said he sold an average size of ram last year for N120,000 but this year, he is selling for N160,000 each.

Another reason the prices are high is because of bandits and kidnappers, who have taken over parts of the country.

 
Another seller, Jubril Alamin, linked the hike in price to feeds. He said feeds that was sold for N8,000 or N9,000  now sells for between N10,000 and N12, 000 and it is difficult for the sellers to grow the feed in neighbouring states like Ogun or Oyo, because of the weather.
 
“There are many rams imported from Chad and Niger. We call the rams Arara because they are not well fed like Nigerian animals. They don’t feed them the way we do in Nigeria. The rams are only fed with grasses, but in Nigeria, we give them wheat, maize and bean husks,” he said.
 
He stressed the need for government to protect farmers and cattle herders in the north. Another buyer, Kosoko Adegboyega, said: “The price is beyond our expectation, and we had hoped it will be better this year; we can only pray to God.
 
“The traders still complain of attacks on the road to Lagos, they also lost livestock on the way. So, they have to get back the money by increasing the price of the ram.”