I entered the market today to sample ram prices. The big one we bought for N70,000 last year is now N250,000 to N300,000. A medium ram is now N80,000 to N150,000. And a small one is around N60,000 to N70,000. These prices are all depending on the city and the market.
One interesting point that I want to make here is, I am presently in Kano and everything looks cheaper in Kano than in other states in the North and probably in Nigeria at large.
Therefore, what makes ram so expensive giving the fact that it has near 100% local content? First, it has to do with human greed and wickedness. Prices in Nigeria are influenced by approaching festive seasons not and not only the natural and conventional law of demand and supply. There was never a sallah with shortages of rams.
Second, it very clear that there has been food inflation in Nigeria. Rams feed on the by-products of local food staples like wheat, maize, rice, millet, Guinea corn and rice. If they are expensive, their by-products, the offal and chaps will definitely be expensive.
Third, is the devaluation of Naira. With the nation’s currency losing value and the government also officially devaluing it, the purchasing power of Naira will naturally drop, and it is drastically dropping everyday. Naira doesn’t hold much value today compared to last year. Take N20,000 to the market today and you will get 40% value of what it used to be last year.
Then last but not the least is the corruption components added to transportation of rams. The police, VIOs, state traffic agents and other security agencies are all out to make a kill by collecting bribes from all vehicles conveying livestock. There are also middlemen in all markets that impose tolls and illegal taxes on every head of ram.
So what to do?
The best way to go around it is either to buy an alternative to ram like sheep or goat that are cheaper or wait for the purchase a day after sallah when the market is becoming a buyer’s market. There are three days grace for layya. That way you can get ram 30% cheaper.
It is indeed obvious that life is generally not easy in Nigeria! If you are alive and healthy give glory to Allah and do what you can afford. Layya is only compulsory for those that have the means. If you can’t afford ram use your money and face other issues and pray for Allah’s blessings. Don’t overspend because after sallah you will still pay school fees. Those of us with children in universities should also brace up for increase in tuition fees. There is going to be increase in prices of petrol and electricity. The government is just bidding it’s time but mark my words, with crude oil price going up, the government will surely increase petrol price.
I wish all of us a very warm and wonderdul Barka da sallah.