By Sodiq Lawal
Less than a week to Eid – Kabir celebration, Ram sellers in Ile- Ife have been complaining of low patronage.
Many of the ram traders in Ile Ife who had stocked different breed of the rams as well as goats in preparation for the Sallah, complained of low patronage.
Majority of the sellers blamed the poor economy for the high cost of rams and the low patronage.
Some lamented that they had been selling on credit in recent times due to the slow pace of the business.
Findings by Ife City News showed that food items such as rice, meat, cabbage, carrot, vegetable oil, palm oil and yam have become more expensive, while the prices of tomato were considerably affordable due to its seasonal availability.
Ram, a major livestock statutorily using for the Sallah festival, was offered at varying prices, depending on the size .
A trader at Sabo area in Ile Ife, Mr. Ahmodu Alimi, told our correspondent that the biggest ram cost about N170, 000 while the smallest was N52, 000 .
According to him, the prices of the animals have increased by an average of 114 per cent because the same size of ram , which now sells for N 170 ,000 , was sold for about N90 ,000 last year.
Alimi said it might not be possible to get huge returns from the business this year due to poor sales but was hopeful that the prices of the animals would increase gradually as the Sallah day approaches.
Another ram dealer at Sabo market, who identified himself as Usmanu, said that the animals were brought from Kano State and prices were fixed based on how much they were purchased from wholesalers.
He explained that in one week of stocking the animals, he had only been able to sell 10 rams.
The Chairman of the Goat and Cow Sellers Association at Sabo market, Ile-Ife, Mr Francis Oladosu blamed the hike on the prevailing security challenges in some parts of the Northern states and the increase in the cost of transportation.
He said that charges for transporting the animals from Kano to Ile Ife in a trailer had increased from. N500, 000 to N700, 000.