Residents of Jos, the capital of Plateau State, say they have resorted to charcoal as an alternative to cooking gas, electric cookers or kerosene due to increase in their prices.
Our correspondent reports that a 100kg bag of charcoal is sold for N3,500 while a kilogramme of gas is sold for N850 in Jos.
A resident, Balki Muhammad, said, “I enjoy using charcoal because it serves different purposes. It is cheaper, and we can’t afford to use electric cookers due to the number of electricity units they consume.”
Fatima Adam, another resident, said, “I use it because of different reasons. It is easier to use and cheaper compared to others. For people like me that sell food, it is more profitable to use charcoal than gas or kero.’’
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Like in Jos, the use of charcoal for cooking in Nigeria is growing with each passing day, not just in the rural areas, but also in cities, as the cost of cooking gas continues to rise.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in one of its 2022 reports, 40 million Nigerians engage directly in fuelwood collection and charcoal production, a development that many say is an indication of increased use of charcoal in the country.
Although experts have continued to highlight the dangers of using charcoal, people continue to use it in their everyday activities.