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Gas hike: Benue residents turn to firewood, charcoal for cooking

Residents of Makurdi in Benue State have resorted to cooking with firewood and charcoal over the hike in the price of cooking gas.

Residents of Makurdi in Benue State have resorted to cooking with firewood and charcoal over the hike in the price of cooking gas.

Our correspondent reports that at Bolek Gas Filling Station in Makurdi, a 12.5kg gas cylinder sold for N8500 as against N4500 which it was bought earlier in the year.

A resident, Jummai Kande, who was at the gas station to refill a 5kg cylinder, said she paid N4000 as against the N1500 same quantity was sold earlier in the year.

“It’s worrisome. I don’t know where this country is headed to. I will have to resort to charcoal to complement my cooking gas because one does not know how much gas will be selling in December.”

“This is because the price of gas is now steadily on the rise. Only three weeks ago, I bought this same quantity of gas for N3000 and now I had to pay N4000,” Kande lamented.

Our correspondent also stumbled into a group of women who had come from far distances gathering the left overs of an economic tree felled in Lobi quarters in Makurdi metropolis.

One of them, Victoria Elaibe, a mother of eight children, said it was not surprising that herself and the other women scrambling for the wood had come from far locations of the town to pick up the woods for cooking.

“It’s because the cost of cooking gas and kerosene are beyond our reach. Even, the charcoal we rely on is very costly now such that a N100 worth of it can’t cook one square meal for my family.”

“I live at the Modern market area and have come all the way to gather these sticks for my cooking because I can no longer afford a bag of charcoal at N2500,” she said.

Similarly, Margret Cletus and Aunty Adams, both widowed, as well as mothers of eight and five children respectively, collaborated Elaibe.

They stressed that the resort to firewood cooking followed the steady increase in prices of cooking gas and their inability to buy a bottle of kerosene at N400 per litre if all it were available.

Adams added, “Things are very difficult so much that my children and I struggle to feed. In the midst of such hardship, the prices of gas and kerosene as well as charcoal were on the increase on daily basis so I have resorted to firewood.

“Getting the firewood as well is not quite easy. You can see how we are scrambling for this one. Look up and see how other women are running here to join us. The situation is not palatable.”

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