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Price of cooking gas shoots up as residents embrace charcoal, others

By Akinnodi Francis

As the price of cooking gas moved beyond the reach of the common man, sellers of charcoal have been smiling to banks.

This is because many people have now shunned  gas for charcoal which they can easily purchase.

People have for a long time been  expressing worry over the continuous rise in the price of cooking gas, otherwise known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Many homes have shifted to other alternatives such as sawdust, firewood and charcoal as the price of cooking gas continues to rise.

The price of a kilogramme (kg) of cooking gas is currently between N1,200 and N1,400 depending on the area of purchase in Ondo State.

In separate interviews with The Hope at the weekend, charcoal sellers said their business have boomed since cooking gas price increased, especially between January and February.

A charcoal seller in Ondo town, Akinsanya Toyin, said a sack of charcoal which was sold for N6,000 in December, last year, is now N7,500.

“We are witnessing increasing patronage by the day. We have measurements ranging from N100, N200, N500 to N1,000 and we also sell in large quantity.

“Yes, our prices have changed; it was relatively cheap in December, but now the cost is no more the same due to high patronage caused by the high cost of cooking gas,” she said.

Akinsanya, however, decried the high cost of cooking gas, noting that it was biting hard on every home.

“I urge the government to intervene. The suffering is becoming too much for everyone and the salary is still the same.

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“It is very unfair to increase the price of cooking gas when we are still battling to cope with the hardship caused by the removal of the fuel subsidy.”

Also, a caterer, Mrs Esther Ajiboye said that she had resorted to the use of charcoal for her cooking.

She said it has been difficult to keep up with the steady increase in the price of cooking gas.

“Charcoal is cheaper and it has helped me in my business. I am no more spending my money on gas,” she stressed.

Ajiboye urged the federal government to come up with plans and a policy to ensure that the price of gas was affordable to Nigerians.

An Akure resident, Kunle Abe, said his family had moved to charcoal, which he could easily acquire with a small amount of money.

“I keep saying it, this is not the time to increase the cooking gas, and the citizens are yet to recover from the hardship occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy.

“It is sad that the cost of cooking gas keeps increasing almost on a daily basis and everyone is quiet and the cost of living is becoming worrisome every day.”

A gas retailer, who did not want his name mentioned, said he did not know what was responsible for the frequent increase in the price of cooking gas.

He, however, said that the increase was affecting the business as the outlet has continued to record low patronage.

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