In about 48 hours, Muslims all over the world will celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir Islamic festival.
Rams which are an essential part of the festivities have since flooded markets around Nigeria.
While a ram cost between N25,000 and N40,000 early in the week, with just 48 hours to the Eid, prices have increased by as much as 40 per cent in Kaduna State.
Bello Musa, a ram seller at the popular Kawo ram market in Kaduna said, “Last week, when the rams were just coming to the markets they were relatively cheap. One could get a good ram for between N25,000 and N40,000. But at the moment, I can tell you that the same ram you bought at N25,000 could go for N35,000 now.”
Mr. Bello said the prices could still come down if the rams were not sold before the Eid day.
Although the celebration extends for three days after the Eid day, most sellers would want to sell their rams before or on the day of Eid so as not to return them as many of the rams are brought from distances as far as Niger and Chad.
Umaru Baban fati, who visited other ram markets in Kaduna, told PREMIUM TIMES, “A visit to Zango in Tudun Wada, Unguwan Sarki and Unguwan Rimi ram markets also revealed the same high prices.”
The same situation applies in other major Nigerian cities including Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Daura, and Jos.
In Jos, Plateau State, a ram seller at the Bauchi Road ram market, Sani Bello, told PREMIUM TIMES not many buyers were coming yet but as most civil servants in the state would receive their salaries between Thursday and Friday, the influx would increase by Saturday.
Kabiru Tukur, who transports rams to Ibadan and Lagos, said the rams in southern Nigeria were more expensive those than in the north.
“We are transporting from Sokoto to as far as Lagos; so, we normally have to include the cost of transporting the animals. In Lagos and Ibadan, where I have a ram stand in the market, rams are quite affordable but costlier than the same one you can get from the north or even Abuja,” he said.
Mr. Tukur said a ram that would cost N20,000 in Sokoto could go for as much as N35,000 in Ibadan and Lagos.
“My brothers also have taken many to the east, Enugu in particular, and the prices are the same as in Lagos and Ibadan,” he said.
Ram sacrifice is part of the rite of the Eid-El-Kabir. However, lamb, goat, she goat and cow are used for the sacrifice.
The Eid-el-Kabir comes up on October 4.