Kerosine scarcity deteriorates, consumers use coal, firewood

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Kerosine scarcity has resurfaced in Kano and its environs, forcing consumers to resort to using coal and firewood for their daily cooking.
The situation deteriorated in the last one week, forcing residents who could afford, to buy the product at exorbitant prices.
The situation was compounded by non-availability of the commodity at most filling stations in the metropolis.
Some of the retailers said that for the past one week, no filling station in the metropolis sold the product.
One of the sellers at Tarauni market, Malam Mohammed Aminu, said even those with old stock had jerked up the price by about 200 per cent due to its scarcity.
A consumer, Malam Annas Abba-Dala, said a four litre gallon of kerosine now go for N1,600 as against N800.
“Even today (Sunday), I bought a gallon of the product at N1, 600 as against N800,” he said.
Another customer, Malam Garba Ahmad, said he had since switched to the use of charcoal until the situation improves.
“With this recession and the current price of Kerosine, men with large families cannot afford to buy it.
“So, people like us have to resort to the use of charcoal or firewood as an alternative though their prices has also increased slightly due to high demand.”
A filling station attendant on Audu Bako way said, “the owner of this filling station stopped bringing the product when a litre was sold at N230”.
Effort to contact the state Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Bashir Dan-Malam, failed as his mobile phone was switched off.
The last time Kano State experienced similar scarcity was in July 2016, when a four litre gallon of the commodity sold for N1,000 at the black market.
Also, the scarcity has hit Calabar and  its environs as the price of the commodity now ranges between  N350 and N400 per litre.
The product was not available in any filling station in the Cross River capital and its suburbs.
However, the product was available only in surface tanks in parts of the city, where dealers sold it at N350 per litre.
The survey revealed also that the itinerant retailers sold the commodity between N380 and N400 per litre, depending on the area.
Mrs Grace Nja, who resides in Ikot Efanga area of the city, said that she bought the product at N280 at a filling station early last week.
Nja alleged that petrol product marketers in the state sold their consignments wholly to some middlemen from neighbouring states, instead of the consumers within the state.
“I went to buy kerosene and I saw some women from outside the state carrying big cans and buying the product in large quantity.
“So, they are the ones that buy up the entire supply in the state,” she said.
Another resident, Mrs Elizabeth Sunday, decried the situation and described it as greed on the part of the product marketers.
“This is bad for us the poor people of this country. I am a widow and I don’t have money to buy gas cooker.
“Now the price of kerosene is out of my reach and it is hard to feed nowadays.
“My appeal is that government should do something to change the situation in the interest of the masses,” she said
Mr Ekpenyong Lazarus, a resident of Akamkpa in Akamkpa Local Government Area, said that the product sold for N400 per litre in the area.
“That is only when you are able to find it at all,” he added.
Contacted, Mr Esue Obi, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Calabar Depot, attributed the situation to lack of supply to the depot.
“As I speak, there is no kerosene in Calabar depot and all the tank farms in the state, Akwa Ibom and Rivers. Those having the product now travelled to Lagos to buy it.
“So, when they add the cost of transportation and other sundry expenses, the price must be high; that is the situation now.
“Importers are complaining of lack of foreign exchange. So, we don’t know when the product will be available, ‘’ Esue said.

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