By Sodiq Lawal
Barely three days to to Eid-el-Kabir festival, price of rams have soared in the ancient city of Yoruba, Ile Ife, just as sellers groan of low patronage.
Our correspondent visit to Sabo market in the ancient town, revealed a significant rise on the price of various sizes of the rams compared to last year.
A ram seller in the market, Usman Abubakar, said that the prices of small, medium and big rams are now higher when compared to last year.
“The small, average and big rams this year are selling for N55,000, N75,000 and N150,000 as against N30,000, N40,000 and N80,000 respectively in 2017.
“The high prices this year can be attributed to the economic downturn and insecurity in some parts of northern Nigeria where these rams are reared and transported to other parts of the country for sale, ” he disclosed.
He added that some of the sellers go as far as Niger Republic to buy them and pay heavily to transport them to the South-West.
Malam Surajudeen Muhammad, another dealer who brought rams from Zamfara, said some of the customers were only coming to bargain without buying.
“We pray to make some sales before Sallah because returning the rams to Zamfara will be a loss to me, considering the expenses.
“Things are very hard nowadays, we appeal to the Federal Government do something urgently to address the suffering of the masses,’’ he said.
A buyer the market, Mr Razaq Sheu said he was at the market for the second day but could not afford the price.
“I was here on Thursday but I cannot buy because the same size I bought last year at N30,000 is being sold for N55,000.
“I am here today very prepared to see that I get one,” he said.
It was observed that following the rising cost of animals, especially rams, some people in the town now contributed money to buy cow and share the meat.
Meanwhile, the prices of chicken, beans, fruits, beverages, cooking oil remained high.
It was learnt that sellers of chicken were, however, making brisk business at various markets in the town.
A seller, Mr Ridwan Qomar, said he had sold all the birds he brought and had to restock.
He said that prices of chickens hovered between N2,500, N3,900, N4,000 and N5,000, depending on the size.
According to him, the prices are a bit higher when compared with 2017, due to the high cost of animal care and chicken feed.