Sallah: FCT residents decry high cost of livestock, food items
As Muslim faithful prepare for Sallah celebration, residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have decried high cost of livestock and food items, particularly rice and tomatoes.
The residents who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in separate interviews on Wednesday expressed concern that the hike would affect the celebration negatively.
According to them, the high cost coupled with the negative effect of the COVID-19 is worrisome, adding that the excitement and activities associated with the celebration may not be experienced this year.
A businesswoman, Aisha Sule, told NAN that she had gone to some major livestock markets within Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), in search of affordable ram but could not get any.
She explained that a sizeable ram which hitherto cost between N35,000 and N45,000 was sold for between N55,000 and N60, 000, lamenting that it was beyond her budget.
She said, “I went out with N40,000 yesterday but could not get a sizeable ram that will be enough for the entire family.
“Today, I decided to make it up to N50, 000, yet I am not able to get anything reasonable. It is frustrating,” she said.
A businessman, Haruna Ibrahim, also lamented the high cost of livestock, particularly ram, saying “I may end up settling for chicken as the price of ram is beyond my budget.
“Many Nigerians have lost their jobs in the advent of COVID-19 pandemic, as if that is not enough the prices of things have skyrocketed,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, Mr Abubakar Yusuf, Chairman, Ram Market at Customs Barracks Junction, Karu, FCT, decried low patronage.
Yusuf, who attributed the development to a lot of factors, including lack of money, said business was better during 2019 Sallah celebration.
The chairman explained that the traders could not afford to sell at a loss as they also purchased the rams at exorbitant rates.
He said, “While patronage is quite low this year, we bought the rams at high costs and we have to try and at least break even.
“For instance, the ram that went for N100,000 last year is going for N140,000 this year.
“Also, the ram that sold for N80, 000 last year now goes for N120,000 while the one that went for N35,000 last year is being sold for between N55,000 and N60,000,” he explained.
In the same vein, a businesswoman at Karu food stuff market, Mrs Helen Adejoh, who deals in different food items, lamented that patronage was quite low in spite of the preparation for Sallah.
She attributed the development to the increase in prices of food stuff in the last few months, adding that it was worsened by the Sallah celebration.
She said that 50 kilogramme of rice which sold for about N18,000 a few weeks ago had increased to between N20,000 and N24,000 depending on the brand.
“A sizeable basket of tomatoes, which sold at N6,000 some weeks back has increased to about N8,000. The increment cuts across other food items like onions, pepper, garri, and maize among others,” she said.
Adejoh, however, expressed optimism that things would get better with time.
While appreciating government’s effort in mitigating effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens she called for concerted effort by all and sundry to assist the less privileged.
According to her, the hardship being experienced by the less privileged can only be imagined.
NAN reports that the Federal Government has declared July 30 and July 31 as public holidays to mark the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir.
Meanwhile, Muslim faithful have been advised to mark the celebration with observance of the COVID-19 guidelines to avoid the risk of infection. (NAN)