Metro, Business

Ondo residents return to firewood, charcoal as cooking gas price soars

Most residents of Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State have resorted to the use of firewood and charcoals for cooking.

This follows the hike in prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that cooking gas which has been embraced by a larger percentage of Nigerians, rose from its former price of N400 and N500 to between N650 and N700 per kilogramme.

NAN also learnt that the hike in price of the product led to high patronage of firewood and charcoal which costs N100 and N200 respectively and equivalent to one kilogramme of cooking gas.

Some of the residents in separate interviews with NAN on Thursday in Okitipupa lamented the hike in prices of cooking gas, forcing them to resort to buying firewood and charcoal for cooking.

They also urged the Federal Government to help Nigerians in bringing down the cost of the product which they said is unbearable to the common man.

Mr Goke Ajayi, a civil servant, told NAN “when I can no longer bear the cost of N700 per Kg of gas, I told my wife to return to charcoal, although it’s not convenient but there is nothing we can do since there is nobody to explain the high cost,’’ Ajayi said.

Mrs Kabirat Arowolo, another resident, said she has now shifted to using firewood to cook her food rather than buying cooking gas.

“Yes, firewood litters the environment and the smoke is unhygienic but we have no choice? Foodstuffs are very costly too, so we have to manage what we can afford to ensure the family eats,’’ she said.

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Another resident, Mrs Elizerbeth Alagbe, lamented that she had abandoned the kitchen for open space just to use firewood which she said was not convenient.

“Our pots now get so black and dirty unlike the cooking gas which keeps everywhere neat when cooking,’’ she said.

Mr Samuel Akinrinwa said he had to get coal pot for his wife and buy charcoal for cooking instead of buying the costly cooking gas and the unhygienic state of firewood and kerosene stove.

“We are groaning over 14 years blackout in this area, foodstuffs are costly as well as cooking gas, I think the government needs to do something as life is unbearable for residents here,’’ he said.

A housewife, Mrs Muinat Akeen, said she had gone back to the use of her kerosene stove since the gas prices began to rise, adding that the situation is getting worse.

Meanwhile, Mrs Aderonke Iwalewa, a firewood seller told NAN that many customers now patronise her since the price of cooking gas has risen.

“We sell firewood from N100, N200, N500 and above, I use to sell for food and fish sellers before but several housewives have joined my customers now,’’ she said.

Another firewood seller, Mrs Modesola Ogunyemi, also said that firewood business is booming now as her sales have increased from what it used to be.

Mrs Janet Mesioye, a charcoal seller, said that there was no much difference from what she used to sell before, observing that charcoal prices too was going higher.

“Charcoal price is getting higher now as the quantity we used to buy at N100,000 now sells for N135,000 and there is little difference from what I use to sell now compared to before,’’ she said.

Another charcoal seller said that roasted plantain, corn sellers and tailors are her usual customers, adding that private users have joined.

Meanwhile, Mr Lekan Aladetan, manager of LPG depot in Okitipupa, said that the high exchange rate of the dollar and high demand for the cooking gas were responsible for the hike in price of the LPG.

He also said that the patronage of cooking gas customers has reduced drastically, saying that many users have found other alternatives since the hike in price of the product.

“LPG is imported and since the rate is higher and the high demand by customers using the LPG, it will affect the price and it is what we buy that we sell too,’’ he said.

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