Estimated reading time: 19 minute(s)
There is a boom in the charcoal business in Ogun state as the price of cooking gas continue to be on the increase. Findings by PLATFORM TIMES revealed that residents now opt for charcoal and firewood as substitute, FASILAT OLUWUYI reports.
When Moninuola Ayoola’s husband brought the idea of using gas for cooking in their home, she refused at first due to the dangers associated with it. Her husband later bought a gas cylinder without her consent, with this, she has no choice but to adapt to using the gas for cooking.
Ayoola who was introduced to cooking with gas by her husband can no longer afford to cook with the it due to the hike in its price.
She said her family now depend on charcoal for cooking.
“At first, I didn’t agree to the idea of cooking with gas but my husband bought it and said he wanted us to reduce smoke and keep our pots and other utensils neat.
“He later bought it without telling me, he was refilling it once we’re out of gas and I got used to cooking with gas, but all of a sudden he called me and said he can no longer continue to fill the gas.
“I told him I was used to it and I can’t stop as I have already given our stove away. He promised to buy a new stove, but I didn’t agree so I started filling the gas myself.”
Ayoola told PLATFORM TIMES that it has gotten to the point that she couldn’t bear the burden of filling the gas due to the hike in price.
“I can no longer continue with the high price of gas as it jumped from 300 to 350 and then 500. When it later became 700/750, I had to stop and started using charcoal to cook.
“I have just ordered three bags of charcoal. Even charcoal is expensive now. A bag of charcoal is now 3500.
“We beg the government to have mercy on us. We can no longer cope, we’re tired. Things are now expensive.”
Just like Ayoola, other residents in Abeokuta who spoke with PLATFORM TIMES disclosed that they have also switched to using charcoal and firewood for cooking in their home as substitutes.
Many lamented that they now find it difficult to refill their gas cylinders due to the hike in price.
Mutiat Abiodun, a resident in Lafenwa area of Abeokuta laments the hike in gas, adding that her family has also turned to charcoal and firewood for cooking.
Abiodun described the hike in price of gas as outrageous.
“We have abandoned gas and we have
switched to charcoal and firewood cooking.
“The firewood we have abandoned for years is what we are now going back to. It’s only during emergency cooking that we buy Kerosine to support our cooking because it is now expensive.
“400 per litre of kerosine and it doesn’t even last up to two days. The litre is not even up to a litre. The kerosine dries up easily. The Government should help us so everything can be easier for us. We beg them.”
Also, Fausat Akinpelu a resident of Adigbe area said if the price of gas continues to go up she’ll have no choice than to switch to charcoal for cooking.
Fausat stated she can no longer buy a 3kg gas as she used to. She said she only managed to buy 1kg now due to the increase in price.
“With the way, the price of gas is going those who can not afford the price are going to use charcoal since they have no alternative.
” A Lot of people are now cooking with charcoal and firewood. A Lot of gas sellers are no longer in the business due to the hike in price. Government should find a solution to this” she said.
From buying a 3kg of gas, Latifat Afolabi said she also can only afford to buy a 1kg as a result of the price.
“Gas is too expensive. From 300 now 750. Kerosene is now very expensive. I can no longer afford to fill 3kg as I used to. I shout at my children if they waste it.
“Government should make things easy. They should have mercy on the masses. There’s no sales. We beg them to have mercy on us.
Zainab Abogun, another resident who has also switched to charcoal for cooking, called on the government to intervene.
“The Government should have mercy on us. We now depend on kerosene for cooking. We now use charcoal coal pots to cook. I have now resorted to using a coal pot for cooking”, she begged.
Meanwhile, Idris Adekunle, a resident in the Kuto area of Abeokuta said he had to buy the coal pot and charcoal for his wife as it was no longer convenient for him to buy gas due to the hike in price.
“I just bought a coal pot and charcoal yesterday. I have told my wife I can no longer afford to fill the gas cylinder” he said
Other residents who spoke with PLATFORM TIMES also begged the government to come up with a solution to the hike in the price of gas.
Charcoal sellers getting boom in sales
Sellers of charcoal in Abeokuta said they are getting more patronage and sales as the high cost of gas lingered on.
A charcoal seller, Zulaikoh Ojelabi said “Sales is now very much higher for us.
“A bag of charcoal now sells within five hours unlike before when it took us a full day to sell it. We have also increased our supply as well.”
Ojelabi stated that most of their customers complain bitterly about the hike in gas price and how they can no longer afford it.
“Some people don’t have interest in using charcoal but now they just have to buy it as they can’t endure the price of gas anymore.
“Before, a bag of charcoal was 1500 but now it is 3500. Price of charcoal has gone up too.”
Another charcoal seller, Aina Tanimola also said the hike in gas price has led to an increase in sales for her.
She however said a bag of charcoal has also gone up from the initial price of N1400 to N3700.
“When the price of gas went up a lot of people dropped their gas cylinders and they went back to this charcoal.
“People have abandoned gas now. Some people even went back to cooking with firewood. Because if we look at it the price of gas too is quite expensive and charcoal price too has gone up”.
Tanimola said her customers prefer to buy charcoal than buying gas for N700 which will not last for long.
She also called on the government to see to the reduction of the exorbitant permits they pay security officials and area boys when they go to get charcoal.
We’re experiencing low sales- gas sellers
Ibrahim Adebayo, a gas seller in Abeokuta told PLATFORM TIMES that the increase in gas price is leading to a drop in sales for them.
“This increase has drastically led to a reduction in sales for us. Our customers who used to patronise filling a full kg of gas can no longer do so. Most of them fill half now.
” We’re also not happy with the increase in price. Our customers are lamenting seriously. Salary is not increasing and the cost of goods is on the increase.
“It really calls for concern. We beg the government to intervene. ”
Also, Moruf Olanrewaju, another gas seller, called on the government to intervene.
” Before most of our customers used to fill full kg but when the price went up they could no longer do that. People need to buy other things too. This is causing us low sales everyday.
“We don’t want to stop doing this business as we have no other means of survival. Government should help us out.”
Checks by PLATFORM TIMES at gas filling stations and shops revealed that 1kg of gas sells for N650, N700, N750 up to N800 depending on the location.