By Musa Madobi, Kano
Residents of the ancient city of Kano have continued to experience untold hardship following acute shortage of kerosene in the commercial nerve centre of the northern part of the country.
For three months running, acute scarcity of kerosene has plunged Nigerians resident in Kano into unnecessary spending, even as the price of charcoal, an alternative cooking facility for the low-class has also skyrocketed.
Investigation showed that during Christmas and New Year celebrations, the product became very scarce, just as the price of the commodity has skyrocketed.
A visit to filling stations across the state indicated that there was no supply as none of the filling stations were selling the product to the public, claiming that the product is not available.
However, it was discovered that the little quantity available were hoarded by management of Filling Stations who sold the product in the night to black-marketers who made brisk business in return.
Following this development, the majority of homes elected to use charcoal and gas for the cooking, as black-markers put the price of the product above the reach of prospective buyers, whereas those who could not do without the product have no option than to buy at exorbitant rates.
Normally, a litre of Kerosene was formerly sold at N220 to N230 per litre in Filling Stations, while the recent price of the product in the black market is sold for N500 to N600 per litre, as a gallon of the ‘essential commodity’ now cost N2500.
According to Mr. Thomas Andy, a radio mechanic, “what is happening about this kerosene is baffling because no one can explain where and how the scarcity is coming from. The worse part of it is that the people suffering it are the poor masses where I belong.
“When this scarcity started, we started using coal pot, but today, buying charcoal is yet another nightmare. We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to come to our rescue because we are dying gradually.”