Residents groan as cooking gas price soars

Some residents of Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, have expressed worry over the continuous rise in the price of cooking gas, otherwise known as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who monitored the situation, reports that many homes have shifted to other alternatives such as sawdust, firewood and charcoal as the price of cooking gas continues to rise.
NAN reports that the price of a kilogramme (kg) of cooking gas is currently between N1,250 and N1,300 in Abakaliki.
Boom in charcoal sales
In separate interviews in Abakaliki on Thursday, charcoal sellers said their businesses have boomed since cooking gas prices increased, especially between January and February.

A charcoal seller in the Kpirikpiri Market, Vivian Chukwu, said a sack of charcoal which was sold for N6,000 in December, last year, is now N7,500.
“We are witnessing continued patronage by the day. We have measurements ranging from N300, N400, N500 to N1,000 and we also sell in 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.
“I do not think I can venture into another business. This is a very profitable business and people don’t know about it,’ said Mrs Chukwu.
Mrs Chukwu, 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.

“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,” she stated.
Chinwe Okoro, a caterer in Abakaliki, told NAN that she had resorted to the use of charcoal for her cooking.
Mrs Okoro said it had 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.
Mrs Okoro urged the federal government to come up with plans and a policy to ensure that the price of gas was affordable to Nigerians.

An Abakaliki resident, Ahmed Aliyu, 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,” Mr Aliyu stated.

‘Low patronage’
A pump attendant at a gas station in Abakaliki, who did not want his name mentioned in the report, 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 station has continued to record low patronage.
“Many of our customers now resort to using firewood and charcoal for cooking.
“We have been witnessing price changes every day. Someday, it (the price change) will even be twice, depending on the market cost,” he added.
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