By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
As Muslims prepare to mark the year 2021 Sallah celebration, a survey in some markets in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has revealed soaring and unstable nature of prices of goods and commodities.
This development, however, has forced many Muslims to reduce their budget in buying some vital items to celebrate the Salah.
Price checks at ram markets in some locations in Ibadan including Sango, Ojoo, Bodija and Oke-Ado areas showed that an average-sized ram, which sold for N45,000 in 2020, now cost between N65,000 and N70,000.
It was also observed that a big-sized ram sold for between N80,000 and N120,000.
At Aleshinloye market, rams cost between N30,000 and N110,000, a price range which , a ram seller, Alhaji Abdulahi Sanni considered to be on the high side.
Another ram seller, Idris told Western Post that the high price was due to the security situation in the Northern part of the country as well as high cost of transportation.
According to him, transporters bringing rams from the North, charging exorbitantly added to the prices of rams, and the ones they rear here are high because their feeds are also costly.
Some buyers who spoke with Western Post lamented the high cost of rams and other commodities, saying this will reduce patronage for ram this year.
Alhaji Habib Fatai, who bought a small size ram for N65,000 at Moniya area, also lamented its high price and those of other items.
According to him, the high cost of rams, food items and other consumables might not allow many families to celebrate the Salah as they would have loved to.
Another ram buyer said although rams were very much available, the prices were out of reach.
He, however, said that he could not afford to buy for other people as he used to do every year due to the high cost of ram this year.
A ram buyer at Aleshinloye market, Waheed Maroof linked the scarcity and high cost of ram to the harsh economy in the country.
Another ram buyer at Sasa market, Malam Adeola Muritala regrettably said he could not afford to buy a ram due to its high cost.
“A big ram of my choice is sold for N140,000. Where do I get such money? Any meat we see, no matter how small, my family and I will manage it,” he said.
Also, a survey into other commodities and foodstuffs revealed that the soaring prices of the items have forced the people, especially Muslims to cut their budget to celebrate the Salah.
For instance, prices of rice and other items had increased before now, a development which had forced people to buy only a few items.
A rice seller at Aleshinloye market, Mrs Stella Olakunle, said that prices of all foodstuffs, including rice, had increased even before the onset of the festive period.
“A bag of rice that we used to sell at below N20,000 is now sold for N26,000 and it is quite unfortunate that there’s no patronage now like before.
“Forty pieces of onion that we used to sell for N2,000 before now sell for N2,500, and you will hardly see people buying in bulk as they used to,” she said.
A tomatoes seller at Sango market in Ibadan told Western Post that a bucket of tomatoes, which sold between N800 and N900 in 2020, now sold for between N1,500 and N2,000.
“Almost all the prices of commodities brought from the North have gone up due to COVID-19 issues, transportation cost and farmers/herders’ crises.
“For instance, six pieces of yam that used to sell for N4,500 now goes for N6,000, resulting in reduced patronage,” she said.