Enugu residents resort to charcoal, firewood as price of cooking gas goes high

In the face of rising cost of cooking gas across the country, residents of Enugu state have lamented the ugly trend with many of them saying that they have resorted to cooking with charcoal and firewood….CONTINUE READING....CONTINUE READING

This our reporter gathered is effectively negating efforts to control untoward effects of climate change occasioned by indiscriminate tree felling.

A cross section of residents of the state who lamented about the hike in the price of cooking gas in the state said that if nothing is done urgently to address the matter, they would have no choice than return to using firewood and charcoal.

Some of the residents of Nsukka metropolis who spoke to WITHIN NIGERIA explained that the steady rise in the price of cooking has literally pushed them back to using firewood and charcoal, a practice they have long abandoned.

One of the residents, Edwin Kalu told our reporter that the hike has made life difficult for his family.

Lamenting he said, “It is sad that the price of cooking gas keeps increasing almost every week and government isn’t doing anything about it. We need the help of government, otherwise, things may get out of hand.”

According to Mr. Kalu, a retired staff of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the timing for the increase of cooking gas was wrong because Nigerians were yet to recover from the hardship caused by the fuel subsidy removal which has almost crippled the economy of the country and rendered many people jobless.

Explaining further, he stated that ” I am a pensioner and I have five children to take care of. My two sons are still in the University. So, it has not been easy.”

Narrating further he said that,” before now, we were buying at N740/1KG in major filling stations while retailers sold at N800. But today, the price has jumped to N900/1KG at retailing price. Some are even predicting that it will hit N1200/1KG.”

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A resident of Enugu, the capital city Justina Okoro told our reporter, told WITHIN NIGERIA that the situation is becoming unbearable.

“Look at me, I never know things will get out of hand like this. It is pretty hard here. It is not easy at all.”

Mrs Okoro said that, ” I am a primary school teacher with a salary of less than fifty thousand naira monthly salary. My husband is a retired local government staff. Their pension doesn’t come regularly as it supposed to. We have six children, all of whom in one level of education or the other. The hike in price of cooking gas is telling on us harshly.”

She explained that since the increase in cooking gas started, they have switched back to charcoal and firewood.

“My worry is that our landlord has warned us to stop using charcoal and firewood in his house. He has threatened to serve us quit notice should he see us continue using charcoal and firewood. According to him, it might set his house ablaze.”

By and large, when our reporter visited one of the charcoal and firewood sellers in Obiagu, Enugu to ascertain the level of patronage occasioned by rising increase in price of cooking gas, there seemed to be a little twist in the whole scenario as price of charcoal and firewood has also appreciated as a result of rising increase in the price of cooking gas.

Mrs. Bridget Ojobor, firewood and charcoal seller told our reporter that “nothing is cheap in this country again. The rising cost of cooking has a spillover effect on every other energy used in cooking.

“For instance, before now, we were selling a bag of charcoal at N3700. But today, the price is now N4000. More so, firewood has also gone up price wise.”

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Asked what could be the reason behind sudden change in the price, Mrs Ojobor said that “our suppliers told us that the cost of transportation is very high. Again, we are in the rainy season. Usually price of charcoal and firewood normally go up during this season. But I can assure you, this particular one has nothing to do with rainy season. It has everything to do with bad condition of Nigeria.”

However, when WITHIN NIGERIA reporter visited Willgas station in Nsukka metropolis, it was discovered that one kilogram of cooking gas is sold at N850 as against N740 which was a steady amount since over three months now.

The Managing Director, Williams Agbo declined to speak to our reporter but a pump attendant who spoke under anonymity told WITHIN NIGERIA that , explained that he was not aware of the actual reason why the price of cooking gas was hiked.

“What is happening now is very shocking to us. We have never seen this kind of increase in the price of cooking gas since this business started some years ago.

“The increase is also affecting our business, as a lot of customers now resort to using firewood and charcoal for cooking.

“So, I am appealing to the government and all other stakeholders to address the issue in order to reduce the suffering of residents of the state,” he added.

According to the pump attendant, there is also an indication that the last may not have been seen of the hike in the price of cooking gas across the country as prices of other petroleum products have continued to shoot up, uncontrollably….CONTINUE READING