Sallah: Ram sellers bemoan low patronage, customers lament exorbitant prices


Barely two days to Eid-el-Kabir, ram sellers in Zaria, Kaduna State are bemoaning low patronage, while some customers are lamenting over the exorbitant prices of rams.
A visit to various selling points in Zaria shows that the ram traders were still hopeful of an improved sales before the Sallah day.
Alhaji AbdulMuminu Alhassan, the Sarkin Turken Sarkin Zazzau, said at Kofar Doka, Zaria, that the level of patronage this year was very low compared to last year’s.
He attributed the low patronage to scarcity of funds in the hands of common people due to economic challenges.
Alhassan added that this year’s Eid-el-Kabir landed at the middle of the month when most faithful had spent their salaries to take care of their day-to-day problems.
He appealed to government at all levels to assist their people especially during important festive periods that fall at the middle of the month by paying half salary in advance.
He, however, said despite the economic situation, some customers could still afford to buy the rams according to their financial capability.
The traditional ruler said with just N15,000, one could buy a ram to discharge the religious obligation, adding that small rams in the market cost about N15,000 while the biggest go for N120,000.
Alhassan, however, enjoined traders to be just and moderate in dealing with their customers to enable Muslims get the ram at relatively low prices.
Malam Aliyu Sani, a ram seller in Zaria, attributed the low patronage to lack of vibrant economic activities in the country.
He urged Nigerians not to rely 100 per cent on white-collar-jobs, advising that they should also engage in petty businesses that are abound in their respective areas.
Sani put the prices of rams in that area at between N25,000 and N90,000 depending on the size of the sacrificial animal.
Another ram seller at Tudun Wada, Malam Idris Ibrahim, called on prospective buyers not to panic, but should go to the selling points to find out the actual prices themselves instead of depending on rumour.
He said that the prices were not extremely high and they may be able to afford it, adding that with N20,000 to N22,000, one would be able to discharge his religious obligation of offering a ram.
A ram seller at Queen FM selling point also said on anonymity that the patronage was generally very low compared to previous years.
He said the ram business was not as profitable as it used to be, saying that it is one of the reasons many residents refused to engage in the business.
“Many have abandoned the business due to what is happening. This year, only those of us with large minds decided to try the business once again.
“Last year, many ram sellers had to take back their animals due to lack of patronage, however, we are hopeful this year will not be the same,” he said.
Meanwhile, some customers have decried the high cost of rams in most of the selling points, describing it as lack of contentment by the ram sellers.
Alhaji Aliyu Baban-Karfi, a customer, urged the traders to keep their prices moderate to give many people the opportunity to discharge their religious obligation.
Baban-Karfi, however, observed that many faithful do not buy ram early due to storage problem, saying that some people prefer to buy the ram on the Sallah day.
He noted the rams were very costly but hoped that the prices would gradually reduce, attributing the initial high cost in prices to payment of salaries at the end of the month.
Malam Mohammed Garba, a civil servant, said the prices of rams in some areas were above roof tops, saying many sellers are out to make huge profits at the expense of buyers.
“Many people are scared of going to the selling points because some of the sellers are just out to extort money from buyers.
“Some purchase the rams when the animals were very cheap only to come and triple the price at this festive period, this is not good for the society at all,” he said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.