19th December, 2011
As the price of kerosene increases, some Lagos residents are now making high demand for charcoal as an alternative preparatory to Christmas celebrations.
A cross-section of traders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that many people now patronised them for charcoal as effective means of cooking.
Mrs. Yinka Folashade, a charcoal dealer at Ajangbadi Market, said that the demand for charcoal was on the increase as Christmas drew closer unlike before the season.
She said that charcoal was a good source of cooking, adding that in the last eight years, it had remained unpopular and record low patronage as most people were used to kerosene and gas.
Folashade said that she had been trading on charcoal since 2003.
She said that the demand for charcoal started to step up as it enjoyed patronage from most restaurants that used it.
Folashade said the demand for charcoal doubled, especially during the Christmas season since there had been price hike in kerosene.
She said that a bag of charcoal was sold for between N2, 800 and N3,000.
Mr. Salami Abiodun, another charcoal trader at the Iyana-Iba Market, said that between November and December, he sold about 32 bags of charcoal.
Abiodun said that he was surprised at such high demand few days to Christmas, adding that the traders had previously experienced some hiccups in sale.
He said that he was happy with the development, which made charcoal a reliable source of fuel for cooking.
Abiodun said that unlike firewood and kerosene stoves, charcoal left no stain on the pot after use.
He said that he sold a bag of charcoal for N2, 800 adding that he would continue to sell at that price regardless of the festive season.
Mrs. Nkem Okpara, a charcoal customer, said that it was the best for her cooking since she discovered it.
â€œSince I discovered charcoal, I have preferred it to other means of cooking because it is very affordable and effective.
She said that she bought a bag of charcoal for N3,000 and that it served her for more than one month unlike kerosene that dried up in few days.
Mrs. Mercy Okojie, another consumer, said a friend who had been using it introduced charcoal to her since the price of kerosene went up.
According to Okojie, when my friend had functions like birthdays for her kids, she used charcoal for all her cooking.
â€œI have since found out that charcoal is cheaper for my cooking and equally faster, if properly ignited,â€ she said.