The scarcity and now high cost of kerosene and cooking gas has constraints which economics of survival now compels families to opt for charcoal as Cooking Energy.
It should be recalled that a lot of games have been going on with the prices of sources of Energy in the country.
The Independent marketers had stated that “current price of fuel was no longer realistic”. This triggered a lot of reactions from folks amidst scarcity of products. Eventually fuel prices moved from an average of N175 to N185. Now it has stabilized at N195 to N200.
Meanwhile the spokesperson for NNPC Ltd said that they were not aware of the increase and that in any case fuel now was within the midstream and downstream sector and that NNPC Ltd is now functioning like MTN implying independence.
The reality is that any price movement that affects petroleum products will affect everything else.
Flowing from the high cost of cooking gas, families have switched to Charcoal as an alternative, afterall economics is a science of alternatives.
This reminds us of the late renowned economist and social activist Professor Sam Aluko.
During the great Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) debate the Government of General Ibrahim Babangida said that SAP had no alternative but professor Aluko disagreed saying that those maintaining such a position were blasfeming economics for economics is a science of alternatives and that there is nothing that does not have an alternative including death which is to live.
Adadainfo interviewed a dealer in Charcoal Mrs Eze in Enugu. According to her “the price of Charcoal has gone up. A killogram of charcoal that used to sell for N100 now sells for N200 while a small bag that used to go for N2,500 is now N4,000 and the big bag is now selling at N6,000.” She has been in the business for eight years and counting.
A housewife Lady Eje said that ” charcoal is good as it burns fast and does not stain pots but it takes time to set up.”
However a lady who preferred to be called Jane disagreed saying that if you use saw- dust to set it up, it does not take time to start burning.
Mrs Eze whose shop is at Mgbemene, said “that you can by charcoal for as low as N200 and it used to sell for N100 which cannot buy any other cooking energy and this can serve you well”. (Cooking gas is N760).
The charcoal stove is also cheap.
Thus for families finding it tough and rough to cope with the high cost of other energy sources, the way to go is to migrate to charcoal which is the now the survival code.