By Abdullahi Omotayo and Tola Oyewale
Even with moderate prices of items like rams, clothing materials and food stuff in the market, traders have lamented low patronage of their products, as against the usual rush during Eid-il-Kabir and other festive periods.
But despite complaints by traders, it was observed that there are noticeable bustling activities in some major markets in Osogbo and its environs as people trooped in numbers to buy at the eleventh hour.
It was gathered that food items, rams, clothes whose prices skyrocketed the previous year have moderate prices this year.
Traders explained that the number of patronage they had in the previous year was still better than this year due to some economic factors, including the dollar exchange rate.
A foodstuff seller at Igbona market, Mrs. Salawudeen said, the prices of rice, beans and some other food items still remain the same even before the salah festival approaches, but there has been low patronage.
“The price of rice and beans is still stable for now. A bag of rice is sold at the rate of N15,600; beans, depending on the module is sold in the price range of between N500 and N700 depending on the type you want.”
Contrary to what Mrs. Salawudeen said, a pepper seller who pleaded anonymity said the price of pepper has increased, saying, this has always been the case when there is high demand during salah period.
A yam flour seller, Mrs. Idowu said because of the bad economy in the country, her patronizers, just like others had reduced.
Another trader who deal, in clothes materials, Mrs. Alausa at Igbona market said the prices at which she sells materials this year is still better than the previous year, just as she also complained of low patronage.
“The price at which we sell clothing material now is less expensive compared to last year. Guinea material is sold for between N1,500 for 5 yards and N10,000 for 5 yards; “Atiku” is sold for N2,000 for 5 years. There is also lace material which goes for N1,000 per yard, N2,000 per yard and upward depending on the type one can afford”.
A visit to ram market at Ring road area, behind Stadium, Osogbo also revealed that there has been reduction in the prices of ram but due to the poor economy in the country, there is still low patronage.
In an interview, Alhaji Ganiyu Adesina, chairman of Ram Sellers Association at Osogbo stadium, said as a result of non-circulation of money generally within the country, people are not really purchasing ram.
“It is just few days to Ileya now, and we ought to have sold more than what we have in stock presently. Those that have purchased either have financial capability or might have to strain their pocket. Most people want to buy but other financial budget like children’s school fees and shelter need to be prioritised.
He said, the prices of ram range between N20,000, N25,000, N30,000 to N55,000 and above depending on the size.