‘We can’t afford taking them back to the north’, they chorus
Contrary to the plan by ram sellers this year, majority of the traders in some Lagos markets are auctioning the symbolic animals for Eid-el-Kabir (sallah) celebrations as less than half of the supply for the annual festival was demanded until the evening of Thursday, August 31, 2017(less than 24 hours) before the event when buyers started turning up.
The sudden change in the decision, encomium.ng gathered, was informed by the worse patronage that greeted the business this year when even those that came couldn’t afford the rams, and the traders couldn’t afford transporting them back to the source.
Speaking with encomium.ng on Monday, September 4, 2017, one of the ram sellers in Fagba, Lagos, Mallam Sanni Adamu confirmed the situation. He added that the country’s dwindling economic situation was largely responsible for the low profit in the business this year which was even worse than 2016 experience.
“Alhamdulillah, this year’s sallah has come and gone. The most important thing is that we’re among those that witnessed it. We pray to celebrate many more on earth in sound health and prosperity.
“On your question, yes it’s a surprise to see that we have cleared all the rams. Nothing was left this year unlike what happened last year. The first reason is that the supply was cut down this year based on what we encountered last year since the economy is yet to improve.
“Even, it’s like a dream that we later saw people coming a day prior to Eid day. Before, people would only come and find out the prices and turn back. And that’s the reason most of us in this vicinity couldn’t sell up to 30% before sallah. But when we discovered that people couldn’t back up their willingness to buy ram this year with money and taking them back to the north will even worsen the situation for us, we had to revert to the usual practice of auction sale by reducing the price by about 20% or even 30% depending on the sizes of the rams. The profit this year is very low but we hope there will be an improvement next year.”
Also, another trader from Abattoir, Mallam Isa Lawan said, “The situation was the same everywhere in Lagois this year. Most of us had earlier agreed not to beat down the price this year because of the cost of bringing the rams to Lagos and its environs. Most Muslims wanted to slaughter rams this sallah but couldnt afford to because of the prices. And we all knew it would happen like that, that’s why we brought few rams at first before we later ordered for new ones of average prices. Even, at that, many willing buyers were still complaining of the orices. That later informed the decision to auction the rest starting from 9pm on Thursday, August 31 to 10 am on sallah day inorder not to run the business at a total loss this year. A ram of N135,000 was later sold for N90,000, while the one of between N70,000 and N80,000 was auctioned for between N55,000 and N58,000. But above all, we give thanks to Allah for witnessing this year’s sallah, I pray the country will be better before the next sallah.”
TADE ASIFAT for encomium.ng