14th October, 2013
Survey from some ram markets across Lagos metropolis this morning have shown that prices of rams have soared beyond the reach of many Muslims barely 24 hours to Eid-El-Kabir celebrations.
P.M.NEWS market survey indicated that the price of ram has gone up between 80- 100 per cent in most ram markets in the metropolis.
Ram markets visited by our correspondent include: Oko-Oba, Abattoir, Agege, Moshalashi at Iyana-Ipaja, Mangoro cattle market, Meiran and Alaba Rago in Ojo Local Government.
Consumers in these markets were seen complaining about what they considered as unjustified price hike of ram by dealers.
They lamented that they had thought the price would be more affordable almost a day to Sallah.
The smallest ram in these markets goes for N45,000, as against N30,000 during the same period last year, while a big ram is sold for as much as N180,000 and N200,000.
During our visit to these markets, sellers and buyers were seen haggling over the prices and unable to reach a compromise, while some who could afford them, paid and took the rams away.
A buyer at Mangoro cattle market, Akobi Gafar, said: “ I thought I could get a ram at a reasonable price being a day to sallah but the prices are high; that is why I have to haggle for a good price.
“Besides, it is not compulsory that every Muslim faithful must slaughter a ram, but only if you feel blessed and want to extend the goodwill to those who are less-privileged,” he said.
Another buyer at Moshalasi, Raji Rasheed, told P.M.NEWS that he had visited many ram markets but couldn’t buy any because of the high cost, adding that the price of a ram this year is high.
“Many buyers cannot buy and they go home disappointed. I am appealing to the government to look into the problem or else many Muslims will not be able to slaughter rams during this Eid-el-Kabir,” he said.
A buyer at Meiran, Poopola Kazeem lamented that he ought to have bought his own ram some months ago to beat the present high cost but was financially incapacitated due to some unforeseen circumstances.
The majority of the dealers who spoke with our correspondent, stated that the major routes traders used to bring rams to the state had become impassable due to the activities of Boko Haram.
Some of the dealers also blamed the exhorbitant price to insecurity, which has not allowed businessmen to bring rams from neighbouring countries like the Republic of Niger and Chad.
However, the situation was a bit better at Alaba Rago, in Ojo Local Government Area of the state. Roadside ram sellers in the area have crashed the prices of their rams, fearing that if they do not sell them between today and tomorrow morning, officials of the state government might capitalise on that and arrest them for selling by the roadside and on the road median.
Most of the ram traders who spoke with our correspondent complained of poor patronage, a situation which has equally forced a drop in the prices of rams in the area.
A ram that cost N60, 000 last week, now sells for between N45,000 and N50,000 while those that were earlier sold for N45,000 attracted N35,000.
The survey also indicated a drop in the price of small rams, from N20, 000, to N15,500.
A ram dealer in the market, Yusuff Madaki, complained of poor sales.
Another dealer, Sanni Gambo lamented the high cost of rams from Niger Republic where they purchased them, adding that they have been recording poor sales.
Meanwhile, many residents of Lagos State were this morning stranded at various bus stops as commuter bus drivers doubled transport fares ahead of the Sallah celebrations.
P.M.NEWS also noted that there were few vehicles at the bus stops with many of the drivers expressing frustrations.
Where the vehicles were available, the fare doubled by at least 150 percent. For instance, A trip from the old Toll Gate on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to Agege area of the state that hitherto cost between N120 and N150 was increased to between N250 and N300.
From the Toll Gate to Abule-Egba, the fare was increased from between N80 and N100 to between N150 and N200. Some bus drivers also raised their fares to between N300 and N400 from the Toll Gate to Oshodi instead of the N150 and N200 that they charged on a normal day.
Also, a trip from Abule-Egba to Agege that attracted N50 before the sallah frenzy, now attracts N100.
The situation was the same from Ikeja to Yaba and Ojuelegba as bus drivers hiked their fares from N150 to about N350.
P.M. NEWS also noted that the fare from Iyana-Iba to Iyana-Ipaja rose this morning from N150 to N350.
From Iyana-Ipaja to Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, commuters that paid between N500 and N600, had to pay N1,000 this morning with the drivers disclosing that the passengers may pay three times the amount during the evening rush period.
Though officials of the state Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, were seen in major areas of the state, their presence only had a minimal effect on vehicular movements as therevehicles stood still on many of the roads.
Those who spoke with P.M.NEWS concerning the traffic challenge linked it to the frenzy surrounding the Sallah celebration.
“We do witness traffic problems once in a while on our roads, but it has been a major problem since late last week because of the Sallah celebration.
“Many residents are in a rush to get all that they need for the celebration. That is why you see a lot of people everywhere,” Musbau Tijani, a commuter bus driver told P.M. NEWS.
—Jamiu Yisa & Eromosele Ebhomele