Barely a few days to Eid-el Kabir celebration, popular ram markets in Kano are witnessing low patronage due to exorbitant prices of animal feeds, as well as the dwindling purchasing powers of Nigerians.
Some of the markets visited by our correspondent in Kano looked deserted as only sellers are sited taking refuge under shades due to rain or scorching sun in different parts of the state.
As a commercial hub in sub-Saharan Africa, Kano received an unprecedented number of rams, cattle and camels from neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Mali in anticipation of bumper sale and profit.
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According to an investigation in some major ram markets, turnover has drastically reduced compared to previous years.
An average ram, which was sold last year at N50,000, now goes for N80,000, while an average cow, which sold for N180,000 last year now goes for N250,000.
A camel that sold for N120,000 last year now goes for N200,000.
One of the ram sellers, Mallam Adamu, said from all indications, many faithful could not afford to sacrifice ram during the Salah period because of economic hardship in the country.
“As you can see yourself, people are coming in groups to either buy a camel or a cow to share among themselves on the Salah day. I must tell you this is a bad market for us.
“Another problem we encountered is the hike in animal feeds, which we fervently pray that the price should drastically come down so that our Muslim brothers would be able to afford without stress,” he said.
A resident, Ado Dorayi, said that he had been offering ram sacrifice for the past 20 years, but unfortunately, he cannot afford one ram this year.
“We are trying to put body and soul together. Many families are thinking of what to eat. Salah would always come and Almighty God sees everyone’s heart and judges him accordingly.
Another resident, Adullahi Aminu, said they now combined resources to buy a cow, slaughter and share the meat since they don’t have enough to buy a ram each.
However, some residents who do not buy now are scheming to buy on the day of Salah because the price usually drops as the festivity draws to a close.
While some faithful count themselves lucky to have bought earlier times to fatten them at a cheaper rate for fear of a hike in price during the peak of Salah sales.