Ram sellers in Birnin Kebbi are complaining of low patronage as buyers lament exorbitant prices ahead of the Eid-el-kabir celebrations.
The reports gathered that in some livestock markets in the state capital on Sunday showed that in spite of the sales moving at a snail speed, prices of animals were on the high side.
At the livestock market, Kara, in Birnin Kebbi, it was discovered that the rate of patronage was very low, compared to previous years.
In an interview, a representative of the Chairman, Livestock Dealers Association, Malam Aliyu Haido, said the business was not moving as expected, attributing it to lack of money in the hands of people.
He listed other factors to include non payment of government staff salaries, high cost of animal feeds and inflation which he said affected not only animals but also all marketable items.
Haido said an average ram that cost N60,000 in 2022, now goes for between N80,000 and N85,000; a goat that used to be N20,000 now costs N30,000.
He said a fairly large cow that was sold for N200,000 in 2022 now costs between N300,000 and N350,000.
He appealed to government to assist them with loan facilities to boost their businesses and make things easier for both buyers and sellers.
Malam Musa Mansur, also a ram seller in the state capital, said the business was frustrating, expressing the hope that salaries would be paid before Sallah celebration, to enable workers to perform the sacrifice.
He said many of their colleagues were pushed out of business due to high cost of transportation, high cost of the animals in addition to “over spending on security personnel at roadblocks”.
Mr Olanrewaju Lawal, a customer, linked the low patronage to shortage of money in circulation among the public and high cost of living.
Lawal attributed the high cost of rams and essential commodities to hike in fuel price “which virtually affects everything.
“However, we hope the new government will come up with palliatives to cushion the effect of subsidy removal”.
While lamenting the high cost of ram, Lawal recalled that last year, he bought two moderate sizes of rams at N53,000 and N60,000 but such rams now cost N75,000 and N85,000.