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Charcoal business booms in Ondo as gas, kerosene prices soar

By Samuel Faleye, Akure
Residents of Ondo State have continued to partronise charcoal sellers as substitute for their daily domestic cooking, as the high cost of kerosene and cooking gas lingered on Saturday.
kerosene, which was formerly sold for N300 per litre has gone up to between N400 and N450 while a 12.5Kg cylinder of cooking gas formerly at N3, 500 has skyrocketed to between N4.500 and N5,000.
On the other hand, a full sack of charcoal, lasting one and half months depending on the usage, has also increased from N1,500 to N2, 500 and N3,000.
Some of the charcoal sellers who spoke withour correspondent in separate interviews said that the high cost of kerosene and cooking gas had turned to be blessing in disguise for their business as many customers now patronised them and charcoal gained popularity.
A trader in the commodity, Mrs Bonike Usman who said roasted yam and plantain sellers patronised her, said that she had recorded high sale as many customers now patronised her.
“I think the high coast of kerosene and gas is a blessing in disguise as I now sell about five bags per day, the same measure I sold in a week before,” she said.
Another trader, Mrs Wulemotu Akande also said that she made lots of gain in the past two weeks as many people now trooped to her shop to purchase charcoal in different quantities.
“Food vendors are not left out in the rush for charcoal because they can no longer afford the prices of gas,”Akande said.
Another charcoal seller, Mrs Wunmi Ashade said that high costs of kerosene and gas had suddenly given charcoal a sudden prominence adding that charcoal sellers now made brisk business and on high patronage.
“I knew people will rush to buy charcoal because it has happened many times, so I bought huge stock in December, so I am making more profit now,” Ashade said.
Mrs Oluyemi Adegbemi, a food vendor said, “Charcoal burns blue flame like gas and it is better compared to fire wood which burns red flame and make pots to be black and dirty,” she said.
Mr Adefemi Ikumawoyi, a customer, said that he had to buy a bag of charcoal for his wife because he could no longer afford the high cost of kerosene.

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