Sallah rams: Traders lament low sales amid high prices


Barely one week to Sallah, ram sellers at the Kara end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Friday lamented low sales, blaming the low patronage on the prevailing economic situation and the sudden increase in the cost of transporting the animals from the northern part of the country.

Similarly, some buyers told our correspondents that ram prices had gone up, lamenting that it might deny them the privilege of killing rams for the celebration.

Our correspondents spoke with some of them at the popular Kara market along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in the Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, where many Muslim faithful lamented that as the festive day drew near, the possibility of them getting rams to kill was becoming slimmer.

A seller, Abdulrazaq Ibrahim said, “I get my rams from Adamawa State. Last year, I transported them with N600,000 but this year it is N1.6m. That is why the one of N90,000 last year has increased to N170,000 this year. The amount we spend bringing these rams here from the North is the reason they are so expensive this year and not many people can afford them.

Another seller, Awwal Abdullahi, said, “I do not believe the removal of subsidy led to this increment. I sold over 1,500 rams to top government officials last year, but this year I have been selling two or three per day which I’m not happy with.

“I get my ram from Yobe State and I pay N500 on each ram for carrying them but it has increased to N950 this year. The size of the rams also is a factor. Last year, I carried them for N1m but this year it has increased to N1.8m. The least of my ram is N300,000.”

For Kunle Moshood, he said the high cost of fuel affected the business as transporters demanded more per ram.

He added, “Payment for transportation per ram last year was cheaper but this year is higher. The increment amounted to pay N1.5m compared to the N800, 000 we paid last year. I have not calculated the increase in price tags of their feeds such as: Soya beans, Kowa and Jusa which are exorbitant.”

The sellers said the increase in the price was responsible for the low sales.

Meanwhile, buyers lamented the increase cost of the rams.

One of the buyers, who preferred to be called Oluwagbenga for personal reasons, stated that the prices of rams were currently twice the amount they were sold last year.

He said, “It’s surprising that last year I bought two rams and each cost N80,000. Today, I came to the market to buy just one as I have heard the outrageous prices of ram. On getting to Kara, it has really increased as the seller told me he could only sell what I bought for N80,000 last year for N300,000 after haggling from N350,000.”

He added that the spike in the prices was as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy by the President Bola Tinubu which had also worsened inflation.

“I don’t believe the subsidy has affected the prices, is it a ram subsidy? Even if it’s getting high it shouldn’t be more than N100,000,” he added.

Another buyer, Sade Adelowo, corroborated Oluwagbenga’s position, saying, “I came from Ikotun and I encountered gridlocks. On getting here, I was shocked to hear the prices of rams. Surprisingly, the size of ram I bought for N60,000 last year, I begged to get it for N100,000 this year.”

Many of the buyers and sellers called on the Federal Government to quickly look into the hardship caused by the fuel subsidy removal.

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