The residents, who were seen on Tuesday besieging a firewood/plank market at Oluti, near FESTAC Town area of the state, said that they could no longer afford kerosene.
They pleaded with the Federal Government to reduce the pump price of the product, saying that the majority of Nigerians could not afford to buy it at N370 per litre.
A petty trader, Mrs Gladys Itodo, said that with the meagre salary of her husband, a teacher, and the little she made from her daily sales the family could not cope with the price.
She said, “It started last year with a sudden increase to N120, since then the increase had remained constant to the current price of N370 and above in some places.
“We have to look for alternative to kerosene to be able to put food on the table for our family.”
Mrs Esther Idowu and Mama Dada, both firewood sellers, say they are making brisk business selling the commodity.
She said, “I used to source my stock from construction sites and Pako (Timber shops) shades only, but I now go inside the villages to buy firewood to sell as demand is high.”
Idowu said although she had been in the trade for about four years now, the use of firewood was depleting the country’s forest.
She said, “If the demand for firewood seizes, we will look for another source of living.”
Similarly, residents of Benin City, Edo State, have resorted to using firewood and charcoal as alternative to cooking gas and kerosene following the scarcity and hike in prices of both products.
In Benin, the price of a litre of kerosene at filling stations increased from around N150 per litre to N350, while a beer bottle of kerosene that was sold for between N200 and N220, now sells for between N320 and N350 respectively.
Investigations also revealed that the price of 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas has increased from N3, 200 to N4, 500.
As a result of the hike in the prices of these products, many residents of Benin have resorted to the use of firewood and charcoal as alternative to kerosene and gas.
Mrs Osariemen Edosa said that she could not understand the “sudden and sharp” rise in the prices of both products.
She described as unimaginable the ordeal that residents of the city had to pass through to purchase kerosene.
“When I eventually got it to buy, the price frightened me. I had to jettison my plan of buying four litres for a bottle that I bought for N350,” she said.
Another resident, Mr. Lucky Amusa said that with gas and kerosene out of the reach of the people for now, the alternative was to use charcoal.
He said, “Yes, I told my wife that we simply cannot afford this for now, especially against the backdrop of bills, including the children’s school fees that needed to be paid this month of January.”
Mr. Emmanuel Ogala advised Nigerians to cultivate the culture of being their brothers’ keeper and stop cheating innocent citizens by increasing the prices of goods.
He described as unfortunate the attitude of Nigerians who take advantage of little opportunity to increase prices of goods and services indiscriminately without consideration for the less privileged in society.