Some residents of Maiduguri in Borno have decried the hike in prices of ram, as Muslim Faithful prepare to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir on Sunday.
Eid-el-Kabir is an annual event observed by Muslim faithful in which they sacrifice ram, sheep, cows and other livestock.
A check by newsmen at Kasuwar Shanu and other various sale outlets in the metropolis, indicated that prices of the livestock have shot up by over 50 per cent compared to last year.
A small size of ram sells for N18, 000 and a medium size goes for N35, 000, while a well-bred ram attracts between N80, 000 and N150, 000; as against previous prices of N10, 000, 20, 000 and N80, 000, respectively.
The cost of sheep also indicated similar increase in prices as an average one is being sold for N20, 000 and big size, N45, 000, as against previois price of N15, 000 and 30, 000.
However, cattle prices remained unchanged in spite of high patronage of the animals during the festive season.
An average-size cow sells for N80, 000 while well-bred bull costs as much as N300, 000.
Traders at the market attributed the hikes to the increase in the demand of the livestock.
Malam Kabiru Umar, a ram dealer, said that prices hike was as a result of high cost of transportation and animal feeds.
Umar said that the animals were been supplied to the market from some villages in Nigeria, Chad and Niger Republics.
“The animals are supplied from neighboring communities in view of the improvement in the security situation.
“We spent a lot money on transportation and animal feeds, which resulted in the hike in price,” he said.
Umar expressed the hope that prices would go down in view of the increase in supply of the animals.
Alhaji Shettima Ali, a resident, however, blamed the traders for the unilateral hike in prices.
Ali said that he bought a ram at the cost of N45, 000, which caused a heavy drain in his pockets.
“I bought the same size of ram at N25, 000, during the previous festive season.
“The traders are taking advantage of the period to exploit buyers,” he said.
Another resident, Buba Ibrahim, noted that most families in the area would not be able to slaughter ram this season due to exorbitant prices.
Ibrahim called on the traders to reduce the prices to enable faithful to celebrate the Eid in a happy mood.
Newsmen also reports that Gov. Babagana Zulum had approved N773.8 million for payment of leave grants, pension and gratuities to enable workers and pensioners buy ram and celebrate Sallah.