Eid-el-Kabir: Nigerian Ram Sellers Lament Low Patronage Amid Inflation, Hardship Under Tinubu Government

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The removal of fuel subsidy has led to a rise in transportation costs, further exacerbating the situation for traders who must transport rams across the country. 

Ram sellers across Nigeria are groaning  over low patronage as the high cost of the animals, driven by the removal of fuel subsidy and escalating insecurity in the country.

The removal of fuel subsidy has led to a rise in transportation costs, further exacerbating the situation for traders who must transport rams across the country. 

This year, many sellers report a sharp decline in sales, with consumers finding it increasingly difficult to afford buying rams for Eid-el-Kabi festival.

Eid-el-Kabir, also known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is an annual festival celebrated on the 10th day of the Islamic lunar month of Dhul Hijja, marked by the slaughtering of rams.,

A survey by SaharaReporters in Kwara State markets reveals a very poor turnout. Ram sellers lamented the high cost of logistics, compounded by the insecurity in the country.

Speaking with SaharaReporters in Ilorin, Kwara State, the chairman of the Emirate group and a ram seller at Ipata market, Mallam Dauda Omolabi, said that insecurity and transportation were the major reasons why the cost of rams had increased compared to last year.

“Last year, the cost of transporting the rams, which was N450,000, has now skyrocketed to N1.2 million. Due to the insecurity in the northern part of the country, our people are unable to access some remote villages to buy rams in bulk.

“We urge the federal government and the state to pay civil servants’ salaries because, if they are paid, it will be easier for them to come to the market and buy, which will also help boost our sales.”

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He said rams in Ipata market were very cheap compared to other markets, “but how can someone who has not received their salary come to the market and buy?”

Muhammed Omotosho, one of the ram retailers in the market, said people from Niger, Benin Republic, and Mali were bringing rams into the country, but due to the issues of Boko Haram, banditry, and kidnapping, they were stopped from coming.

Omotosho lamented the high cost of transportation, stating that the cost of transporting one ram is N15,000 compared to last year.

“The removal of fuel subsidies has affected our business. Look around and see the number of rams, but the patronage is not encouraging due to the high cost of rams in the market.

“We urge the government to reconsider the removal of the fuel subsidy as it has adversely affected many businesses. Some business owners have incurred debt due to the high cost of goods.”

He described the low sales of rams in the market as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy, insecurity, and the high cost of feed and medicine for the rams.

Another ram retailer, Abdullah AbdulSalam Haroon, said he had been in the business for more than two decades, but this year was marked by unprecedented high costs for ram.

“I spent a week in the northern part of the country. The price of rams from the North is very high, and the cost of transporting them has also increased.

“The money we used to transport rams this year is much higher compared to last year. It took us five hours to travel from the city to the village where we bought the rams. The transportation costs and insecurity significantly impacted the price of rams.”

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Haroon said that a ram that was priced between N60,000 and N70,000 last year is now sold for N180,000. He further explained that the price of rams that were sold at N120,000 last year has increased to N300,000, N400,000, and even up to a million.

“People are not patronising. This is the third day since I returned from the north, and I have over 80 rams. However, due to the Nigerian economy and the high cost of goods, sales are not encouraging.

Explaining why ram costs more than cow, Haroon said, ‘The first animal mandated to be killed as a sacrifice for Eid-el-Kabir is a ram; any other is additional.’

“The removal of fuel subsidies has affected our business. How can salary earners, especially civil servants earning N30,000, afford a ram costing N150,000, let alone other necessities?

He said that with the current cost of ram in the market, salary earners, especially civil servants whose salaries are not more than N30,000, would need to find alternatives because their salaries alone cannot buy ram, let alone meet other expenses.

 He urged President Tinubu and his team to revisit the issue of fuel subsidies and to examine the policies that have affected businesses in the country.

When SaharaReporters visited Mandate Market in Ilorin, their story was not different from those in Ipata Market. Both markets’ traders lamented about the removal of the fuel subsidy and the insecurity, which have caused the price of rams to increase.

AbdulRaheem Mubarak, a ram seller, said those who used to patronize them by buying five to six rams before are now buying only one.

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“Our customers in the North complained about the high cost of feed and medicine. Transportation is another major problem that affects the cost of rams in the market.

“The feed we used for the ram, which cost N7,000 last year, has increased to N20,000 this year. Our customers, who used to call us to supply them rams at their workplaces, are now the ones we are disturbing with calls. They all complain about the high cost of things.

“We urge the government to pay civil servant salaries on time because their income is also part of what we depend on. Timely payments will boost our sales, circulate money in the economy, and provide relief for everyone,” he said.

Some Muslim faithful who spoke with SaharaReporters bitterly complained about the current situation in the country, which has made it difficult for most people to afford a ram due to the high cost this year.

Hassan Mubarak, a business owner, said that not only are civil servants affected, but business owners are also affected because the price of everything in the market has skyrocketed.

He said for those who  find it difficult  to buy ram this year should not be desperate to go and borrow money from loan app and buy ram as God prohibit such idea.

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