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Eid-el- Kabir: Prices of ram, others shoot up

By Francis Akinnodi

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Ahead of the forthcoming Eid-el Kabir celebration, prices of animals used for sacrifice during the annual festival have skyrocketed beyond the reach of many celebrants.

Every year during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims around the world who have the means, slaughter animals like rams, goats, cows, or camels to reflect Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for the sake of God.

Like that of rams, prices of cows and camels have also hit the rooftop, as findings by our correspondents revealed.

The hike in the cost of basic commodities in Nigeria has reflected itself boldly in the livestock sector, a situation that is likely to deny average Muslims the means to partake in the annual sacrifice amidst economic crunch.

Findings by The Hope on Saturday in Ondo State showed that the cost of rams currently hovers between N150,000 and N1 million, depending on the size and location.

Stakeholders interviewed blamed the situation on the insecurity around some major rearing states in the North West and North East, devaluation of the naira, as well as withdrawal of fuel subsidy, which have additionally affected the price of animal feeds and the cost of transportation.

A few days to the Sallah celebration, sales have yet to pick up as noticed during a visit to the Akure main livestock market located along Ilesha garage.

A livestock merchant in the market, Uzairu Dan-Kudalo, said that the insecurity problem bedeviling some major rearing states, like Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina, is affecting the sector, sending many stakeholders out of the business.

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“I know a lot of our members that lost their capital to this problem just in one fell swoop after their communities were attacked by bandits or ran into their trap along the way. You can see how our animals’ stalls look empty, and it is less than 10 days to the Sallah festivity.

“From Zamfara State alone, we used to receive a supply of no less than 30 trailers during this period, with each trailer loading between 200 and 250 rams.

“This does not include other mini-trucks like canter, which used to supply without getting any attention. But as I am talking to you today, we are yet to receive any kind of supply from there. If you are talking about other states, by this time, a single merchant alone from other states like Kano, Jigawa, or Yobe, would supply about 200 rams into the market. However, many of them can no longer afford a capital of 50 rams now, due to the cost of transportation and the naira devaluation,” he said.

He said bulk buyers and individuals were also not forthcoming.

“By now, I would have finished with the supply of rams to all my regular customers who may decide to keep the animals here or transport them to their agency for onward distribution among the beneficiaries. But I am yet to witness this gesture so far.”

Another trader, Yaya Abdullahi, said that some of them that usually travel to the neighboring countries like Niger, Chad, or Cameroon to supply the animals are now constrained as a result of the naira devaluation, which, according to him, has given an edge to the traders that come from the Francophone currency nations.

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“Their currency (CFA) has greater value compared to the naira, and as such, nothing you can buy from those countries and expect to make any gain out of it there.

“Rather, the traders of those countries stand to gain a lot when they convert their currency to naira and export our commodities.”

The price of ram has either tripled or doubled when compared with how it went last year.

The same thing goes for the animal feed and cost of transportation.

Given the breakdown of ram price, based on their categories, a trader, Abdullahi Adamu, said the smallest animal that attained the level of sacrifice currently sold between N120,000 and N150,000.

He said such categories of rams were sold between N70,000 and N100,000 last year.

According to him, a middle-sized ram, which sold between N150,000 and N180,000 last year, now costs between N250,000 and N300,000.

There are also jumbo-sized rams, which cost from N800,000 and N1.4 million.

Same rams were said to be sold last year, at the rate of N500,000, while the biggest of all, sold at N1.1 million last year.

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