Ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid-el-Kabir, high cost of rams is scaring away customers in Kaduna despite availability of the animals.
A check by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in some markets within Kaduna metropolis on Saturday reveals that the markets are flooded with rams but with few buyers.
At Zango, Bashama road and Rigasa markets, the least price for a medium size ram is N40,000 while big size ones go for as high as N95, 000.
Some of the customers told NAN that the prices were too high compared to last year when customers bought rams at between N20, 000 to N85, 000.
A customer, Rayyanu Ibrahim, who was met haggling over the price of a medium sized ram at Zango market, lamented over the high price, but hoped that the cost would crash before the commencement of the celebration.
Another customer at Bashama road market, Yakubu Sabo, a civil servant, said he was unable to buy any ram due to the high price, adding that he would wait until after the Eid prayers before buying one.
“There are other preparations to make ahead of the Eid; buying a ram at an exorbitant price is not necessary at this time, hopefully the prices would crash after the Eid prayer.
“The sellers would be willing then to sell at reasonable prices after Eid prayers to also have income to meet their family needs,” Sabo said.
Alhaji Musa Cikaji, a ram seller at Rigasa market, blamed the rise in prices on the high cost of breeding livestock, rise in transport cost and the general economic hardship in the country.
He said those breeding the rams also wanted to break even in order to get money to take care of other problems.
Another ram dealer at Rigasa market, Kabiru Shehu, said: “We are not making much profit because of the cost of transporting the animals.
“We also have to tend to the rams, feed and vaccinate them while waiting for customers.”
He added that apart from the conventional markets, temporary ram markets have sprouted up on virtually all the major streets of Kaduna.
“There are also vendors who drive group of rams round the city in search of customers and also people who display them in front of their houses and business places.
“The rams are very much available with high rate of expectations by the sellers, Shehu said.(NAN)