November 29, (THEWILL) – Charcoal,an alternative source of energy, has become scarce in Kano, with many residents of the city now reverting to firewood for cooking and heating purposes.
A lot of users of the commodity in the town had earlier been using gas for cooking but resorted to charcoal when prices of cooking gas became prohibitive.
An investigation by our Correspondent in parts of the state capital revealed that the scarcity has forced a sharp increase in the prices of charcoal.
It was found that a 50 kilogramme sack of the commodity which used to sell for N3,200,now goes for N5,000, representing about 40 percent increase in the price.
The price hike has compelled retailers of the item to be selling an average measure at N100 as against the paltry N70 before.
Some of the users interviewed said they returned to the use of firewood for their cooking purposes “not necessarily because it is cheaper,but due to the fact that it is more accessible now.”
One of them,Ibrahim Sule,said the charcoal scarcity had compelled him to be using firewood for cooking in his house, and that he is buying a bunch of the commodity at between N200 and N300, depending on its size.
“Before, I was using gas for cooking in my house,but when they increased the prices of cooking gas,I resorted to using charcoal,but charcoal too is now scarce and expensive;so,I returned to our traditional firewood, which is less costly and more accessible,” the 50-year-old truck driver said.
Another user,Talatu Sani,a housewife, said she had already given up on charcoal because of the prevailing scarcity of the commodity, adding that she was using cooking gas before it became unaffordable.
“Now that charcoal is difficult to access,I have to painfully go back to firewood which I used a long time ago.Because I can’t return to cooking gas; I can’t afford it,again.
“And I fear that they might increase the price as the current harmattan cold progresses, because we use charcoal to also boil our bath water and heat our rooms,”Sani further lamented.
Malam Mohammed Saminu,a charcoal dealer in Kano municipality,blamed the scarcity on the current high cost of transportation in the country caused by the increase in the pump price of fuel.
Saminu said the commodity which is largely sourced from Nasarawa State and other parts of the middle belt, costs about N1,500 per sack at source, but that high transportation costs and other logistics increased the price to about N5,000 on arrival in Kano.
“All these heavy trucks and trailers that transport the charcoal to Kano are fueled with petrol or diesel,which everybody knows that their pump price is very high,now.
“So,the charcoal dealers must sell the commodity at this high rate so as to recoup their transportation expenses and other costs, and break even,”the dealer explained.
About the Author
Abdullahi Yusuf is a seasoned journalist, communicator and was previously the Deputy Editor-In-Chief and Zonal Manager, News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Jos, where he retired on December 15, 2021