The price of charcoal in Omu-Aran in Kwara has gone up by 40 per cent as scarcity of kerosene and gas remained unabated, the News Agency of Nigeria, reports.
The newspaper’s check on Wednesday showed that a standard bag of charcoal, formerly sold at N1,000 has increased to between N1,200 and N1,400, depending on the bargaining power of the buyer.
Although the price of a small pack of charcoal remained N50 at the time of check, the quantity, however, reduced.
Azeez Adebayo, a civil servant, said the situation had impacted negatively on her purchasing power and standard of living.
“The situation has become very critical, coupled with the exorbitant prices of cooking ingredients, I spend more to have favourite meal for my family.
“Some of us who are forced to abandon our stoves and cooking gas as a result of high price, we are now finding it difficult to use charcoal, due to same reason.
“The price of kerosene jumped from N180 per litre to between N280 and N300 with scarcity of the product in most filling stations in the town.
“My prayer is for government to intervene and ensure the downward review of the prices of gas and kerosene and allow the price of charcoal to come down,” she said.
Mary Abolaji, a charcoal dealer, blamed the situation on high transport fare, increase in the price of nylon for packaging and the activities of some middlemen.
“We are always at the mercy of some middlemen and touts, the cost of packaging bags and nylons has also increased considerable.
“Majority of our members who cannot meet up have incurred losses while others have been forced out of their businesses,” she said.