SOME residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and environs have bemoaned the high cost of coal and firewood used for cooking, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A cross section of residents, in separate interviews with NAN on Monday in Abuja, said that the increase in the prices of coal and firewood has made life more difficult for them and their family members.
Fatima Adamu, a wife who uses firewood, said that since the increase in prices of coal and firewood, it had not been easy for her and her family members.
Adamu said that since the increase in prices of coal and firewood, she and her eight children have not been able to feed well.
According to her, she can only prepare two meals a day for herself and her children due to the increase in prices of coal and firewood.
Adamu said that before the hike, little coal of N50 could boil water for her while firewood of N200 could make a pot of soup for her, but not anymore.
“Ever since the prices of coal and firewood increased, life has not been easy for me and my children as that’s the only way we can prepare our meal.
“Before the increase in prices of coal and firewood, I and my children feed three times a day but not now anymore.
“Before, when things were still good, I do buy a bag of charcoal for N2,800 and a truck of firewood for N3,500 but now, a bag of charcoal is N4,600 while a truck of firewood is N20,000, she said.
Explaining reasons for the high cost of coal and firewood, Mr Dalandi Madaki, a dealer in Mararaba, Nasarawa state, said that the rainy season was a major factor for the increase in price of coal and firewood.
Madaki said that the rainy season poses major difficulty in getting dried firewood and coal.
“At times, after cutting down trees, the rain will start falling and with that, getting firewood to dry becomes a problem. This will not allow us to supply firewood or even burn it to get the coal and we cannot supply coal or firewood that is not dry. This delay also affects supply and once that happens, some retailers increase their selling price” he said.
Madaki added that another factor that has affected price of firewood and coal was that people were scared of going to the forest in search for firewood. He said majority of them have left the business due to insecurity in the country.
Blessing Ola a coal seller in Garki said that since the continuous increase in price of coal, she has not been able to restock the commodity for over a month.
Ola said that initially, a bag of coal was sold for N2,500, but now a bag of coal now goes for N4,000.
“Before the increase in price of coal, people were able to buy coal of N50 and it would be enough for them to boil water, but now N100 coal cannot boil water “, she said.