– As 2017 sallah rams arrive Thursday
As 2017 Eid-il-kabir, better known as Salah, is just 12 days to go, the preparations for the annual historic festival is yet to be fully felt among Nigerian Muslims due to the ailing economy which has affected almost every aspect of human endeavour. Unlike in 2016, preparations for the popular festival began about two weeks ahead the celebrations as ram markets in some parts of Lagos, Oyo and Ogun had been experiencing patronage by willing and able buyers of the most favoured animal for the yearly sacrifice.
However, encomium.ng’s checks in few markets in Lagos revealed that most traders are yet to bring in their rams for sale for 2017 Salah due to last year’s experience when they were forced to auction the animals as recession hit hard on Nigerians then which prevented most Muslims who were eligible to slaughter ram from performing the obligation.
One of the sellers in Fagba, Lagos, Musa Adamu, explained to encomium.ng why he’s yet to transport his rams to Lagos now. According to the Sokoto born trader, “The economic situation in the country has not improved yet. So, bringing in trailer load of rams now to Lagos is very risky. That was the mistake most of us made last year which affected us badly. Most of the rams were sold on auction to avoid total loss. My trip to Lagos now is to conduct a market survey before the supply will be agreed on from the supplier in Sokoto where I hail from. Many of us learnt our lessons last year. If you go round the major markets in Lagos and Ogun now, you will notice that only few rams have been displayed with different prices depending on the sizes. We’re all waiting to see if there’s going to be a reasonable demand before we supply rams this year because there’s complaint everywhere that things are very tight, even worse than the experience of last year.”
Asked to divulge on the likely prices awaiting buyers of Salah rams this year, Adamu said, “Prices are surely higher this year. The smallest size which was within the range of N20,000 and N25,000 last year will definitely be sold for not less than N30,000, while medium sized rams can’t be sold less than N75,000. Also, we can sell as high as N185,000 depending on the size and negotiation power of the buyer. Everything is very costly this year. That’s why it’s not advisable to rush into the business this year. But by Thursday, Insha Allah, most markets will be filled with rams but people must prepare to pay higher prices this year.”
– TADE ASIFAT for encomium.ng