Ram sellers in Lagos said on Tuesday that it would be difficult for prices of ram toÂ remain low during sallah because ram is synonymous with sallah.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that transporters from the northern partÂ of the country limited their trips to other parts of the country during the periodÂ hence the high cost of the animals .
According to Alhaji Usman Mohammed, Chairman, Livestock Dealers, Breweries, Iganmu,Â this is because the transporters also want to celebrate the festival with theirÂ families.
â€œWhat now happens is that the transporters hike fares by between 30 to 50 percentÂ per trip to make up for the period they will be at home.
â€œAs Sallah celebration draws nearer, it will be better for any celebrant to buy ramÂ because the price will surely go up a day or two days to the celebration,â€ MohammedÂ said.
The Vice-Chairman, Arase-Oluwa Ram Association, Oyingbo, Mr. Abiodun Nofiu alsoÂ attributed the hike in the prices to extortion of transporters by security personnelÂ at different checkpoints.
Nofiu said that the price of a ram goes up when this and other factors are added toÂ the cost of purchase.
Mr. Yekini Ojo and Alhaji Isa Dasuni, goat sellers at Census Livestock Market,Â Surulere said that transporters from Sokoto, Kano or Maiduguri now charged as highÂ as N200,000 per trip instead of N120, 000.
They said that even prices of the feeds had increased “because a bag of groundnutÂ leaf now sells for N4,000 instead of N2,500.”
Ojo stressed that the cost of cleaning up a ram or goat had also gone up from N5 toÂ N20.
According to them, all these are expenses which add to the amount a ram is soldÂ during sallah.
A check by NAN on the rams in the markets visited showed that their prices had goneÂ up by between 20 and 50 percent.
Dasuni said that a big ram sold for N120,000 from N100,000 while a medium and smallÂ rams go for N80,000 from N40,000 and N70,000 from N35,000.
The ram sellers said that the price of a big ram could drop to as low as N50,000,Â medium size (N20,000), small size (N7,500) after the sallah celebration.