Barely 10 days to the celebration of one of the Muslims' most popular festivals, Eid-il-kabir, better known among the Yoruba as Ileya and popularly called big salah, the symbolic animals for sacrifice, rams, are yet to be on display by the dealers who are mainly of northern extractions. And the reason for the unusual delay can not be unconnected with the ravaging Coronavirus which has become global pest that has eaten deep into every sector of Nigeria's economy without a break since it entered the country sometimes in February this year.
Among the ram sellers who spoke with Opera News linked the non- encouraging market situation at the moment to dwindling economic situation of the country occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic which has disrupted every aspect of the economy, including Agriculture, especially livestock farming which suffered a lot during the lockdown.
According to Mallam Salisu HAwal, "My brother, we're all aware of Coronavirus and what it has caused in our country and the world at large. It's unusual of most of us not to have brought larger percentage of our rams to Lagos now when salah is less than two weeks. But as you can see, just few rams that have been here before now are the ones we can display while we wait for the new ones. We have been waiting since last week, but the situation up north now is not that bearable for most of the farmers because of COVID-19. And if at all they will eventually bring rams for this salah, they can't come with as many as they used to for the fear that they're not likely to sell as many as they used to because of COVID-19 issue. And the prices of the rams will surely go up higher than last year experience. Presently and average sized ram is not less than N55,000 whereas it's not more than N48, 000 last year. Some may not be able to afford the price because transport money is also high now, almost double what they're charging last year. A lot of businesses are also in bad situations presently. And everything will affect salah celebration this year."
Another seller from Fagba, Ma'am Kabir Isa corroborated the earlier speaker, blaming it on the delay by the government in relaxing the lockdown for the farmers in the north which coincided with farming peak period in the area.
"Everything is caused by Coronavirus which has destabilized the country. Our governments both at the federal and state levels didn't take the situation very serious until it started affecting the economy. Now, almost everybody is broke. How are we sure if we bring more rams to Lagos we will make any profit? And taking them back after salah is a big loss for us. Even, this year's salah celebration is going to be very quiet. So, we ram sellers are just being careful not to commit a lot of our finances into the trade because we're not really sure of the outcome. Although, we're still expecting our suppliers from the north, in a matter of few days some rams will arrive Lagos but they're surely going to be expensive."
Content created and supplied by: TadeAsifat1 (via Opera News )