The price of various sizes of livestock in many markets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and Nasarawa state have gone up ahead of the upcoming Ed-El-Kabir celebration.
Investigation by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed that apart from their high cost, rams were not even available in some of the markets, while there was also low patronage across the markets visited.
A check at the livestock markets in Wuse, Karu, Nyanya and Maraba showed that in spite of the increase in the price of all sizes of live chickens, there was more patronage.
However, at Zuba, Lugbe and Nyanya markets, Kugbo Ram Market and ram depot in Mararaba there was an increase in price of ram this year compared to what it was in 2017.
A small ram at Kugbo Ram Market that was sold for N30,000 in 2017 is now selling for between N40,000 and N 45,000, depending on your bargaining power.
At the Zuba ram depot, a medium ram that was sold few days back for N40,000, is now selling for between N60,000 and N65,000, while big ram is selling for between N80,000 and N150,000, depending on the size.
A visit to most of the ram markets showed that even though the prices of the animals had increased by between 20 per cent and 40 per cent, compared with the range in the same period in 2017, yet the animals were not available compared to the previous year.
The price of cow was also on the increase as a small cow that was sold for N80, 000 two weeks ago, is now selling for N120,000.
Also, an average bull at Suleja market is N140,000 while a thorough-bred bull attracts as much as N200,000 as against its old price of between N120,000 and 150,000.
The price of chickens had also increased, across the markets visited, the price is now between N3,500 to N 5,000; there is no more chicken selling below N3,000.
At Nyanya market, there were chickens selling as high as N3,500, N4000 and N5,000 depending on the size, an indication that the prices had increased by 30 to 40 per cent.
NAN gathered that the increase in the prices of chicken was not because of the celebration rather it was as a result of the high cost of animal feeds among other things.
Also, many poultry farmers that were affected by the previous outbreak of avian influenza have moved to other businesses because they have not been able to recover from the outbreak.
Abdlmumin Dadinkowa, a ram seller from Yobe State, decried the cost of bringing ram down to Abuja, saying “ the cost of transportation is too high.”
He blamed insurgency in some areas of the country where they buy the ram, saying the prevailing market situation and feeding of the ram had also contributed to the increase in prices as well.
Mr Dadinkowa complained that the high cost of transporting the animals and other goods with trailer, “a load of the animals from Yobe State to Abuja had increased from N300,000 to N450, 000.”
He said the major problem is the transportation and it is what determined the landing cost.
The trader added that in most cases the ram traders go to neighbouring countries like Niger Republic and Chad to buy the animals.
According to Mr Dadinkowa, to augment what is available we have to go to neighbouring countries, and before you can get enough you have to go into the interiors.
“Then the cost of bringing them down to Nigeria and the dues we pay at every check points all put together made them to be expensive,’’ he said.
Kudus Alliyu, a ram dealer from Borno, lamented that the incessant attacks by the Boko Haram had forced many of the dealers out of the business.
He said that most of the major routes traders used to ply to bring rams to the state had become death traps.
He said it takes a strong mind to remain in the business because in most cases Boko Haram do attack them on the way from the market and cart away all their rams and some might even lose their lives in the process.
“Before our trading partners in Chad and the Republic of Niger use to bring the rams down to Nigeria but it is not feasible now because of the security situation,” he added.
Audu Al’hassan, a ram seller at Mararaba ram depot, lamented the poor sale of ram attributing it to the poverty among the generality of the people.
He said in the last one week that he has started selling rams,he has not sold up to 10 rams.
Mr Al’hassan said it is not that there were no patronage but most customers cannot afford the price.
“By this time last year, I had sold many rams, but look at the day now three days to Eid-el Kabir, I sold just 10.
“Most of the customers after telling them the price they will either go without buying or they choose to buy chicken.
Abdullahi Alikali, another seller, said not minding the economic situation people are still making efforts to buy either goat or combined to share cow.
He, however, said that those that are making it now at the Nyayan market are the chicken sellers, because they were making brisk businesses.
Aolat Adamu lamented that at the Zuba ram market, she could not afford to buy ram and would rather prefer to buy small goat for her family to celebrate with.
Yusuf Fouad expressed the hope that the prices could crash after the Eid day.
He said since Islam permitted that three days after the Eid day one could still celebrate; he is still hopeful to buy one ram and slaughter it.