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Cost of rams soar as Muslim faithful prepare for Sallah celebrations

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• Motorists decry encroachment by sellers, buyers on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

Nigerians, yesterday, pleaded with the Federal Government to address the high cost of living in the country, and especially the soaring prices of rams as Muslim faithful prepare for Eid-el-Kabir.

Many, who visited markets in Lagos and environs, lamented the high cost of rams, saying it was beyond their budget.

Sellers and buyers, who spoke to The Guardian lamented that while they hoped for change and better living, the situation is becoming more tough.

At the Pako ram market in Isolo, Lagos, Adesoye Yusuf, a Muslim faithful, who came to buy rams, said: “It is costly. My customer once helped me to buy a ram for N75,000 from the north. But he’s telling me now that the same ram is N220,000, and I am begging him to sell for N180,000.

“I buy six rams yearly but I am yet to buy one now. Things are difficult. Yet, if I speak, it would seem as if I’m abusing President Tinubu. We are in a bad situation. I can only plead with him to help us.

“Also, state governments are charging a lot from those bringing rams from the north. The government should reduce the levy.

Another buyer, Musa Mustapha, said: “The price of rams is no longer funny. I was told to pay N400,000 or N500,000 for a ram. The ones being sold for N400,000 were bought for N180,000 last year. We are trying to get two rams, and we are being told to pay N250,000 for one. Yet, the same was sold for N100,000 last year.”

Advising fellow Muslims, Mustapha said: “In Islam, it’s not good to borrow money to buy ram. Buy a goat if you cannot afford a ram. It’s not compulsory to buy a ram.”

A seller, Afeez Olanrewaju Idris, said rams are costlier this year. According to him, “the ram I sold for N150,000 last year now goes for N250,000. This is not our making. The cost of transporting rams from the north to Lagos is huge. The drivers complain about the cost of fuel. Rams are also expensive even in the north, compared to last year.”

He added: “By this time last year, I had sold over 200 rams but it’s harder this year because customers are complaining about the price. Everything, including pepper and tomatoes, is almost unaffordable.

“I am pleading with the government to act and reduce the burden. We are confused about Nigeria’s situation. Before now, N500 worth of food could satisfy an adult. Now, N1,000 worth of food can no longer satisfy a child.”

Meanwhile, motorists on the Lagos- Ibadan expressway, have lamented the worsened traffic situation at the Kara cattle market section.

This was on account of encroachment by cattle and ram sellers, who have relocated to the area.

The situation took a worrisome turn yesterday, as traffic from the OPIC area stretched to the middle of Long Bridge as a result of trading in the axis.
A commuter, Kingsley Omenka, who was held in traffic for hours, lamented his inability to meet a 1:00 p.m. appointment in Ikeja, even though he left Mowe early enough.

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