The price of Kerosene, a major source of energy in many homes, has skyrocketed in Umuahia, the Abia capital, selling for between N300 and N400 per litre.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) checks in the town on Friday showed that the commodity sold for N400 per content of a Lucozade bottle (which is less than a litre) in the black market and N300 per litre at filling stations.
A cross-section of the residents expressed concern over the scarcity of the commodity and the attendant price hike.
A public servant, Ms Henrietta Ifeanyi, described the situation as “worrisome”, saying that the price had gone beyond the reach of the common man.
“The high cost of the commodity has made the cost of living more unbearable for the common man in the country,” Ifeanyi said.
She said many homes had resorted to the use of firewood and charcoal for cooking.
“Where I live, many of my co-tenants have stopped using kerosene stove. They now use firewood and charcoal,” she said.
A teacher, who identified herself simply as Gloria, said “the situation has become very pathetic.
“It has become easier to get the ingredients for a meal than the kerosene to power the stove to cook them with.
“Last night, my neighbour returned from market and told me that she purchased ingredients for soup but that her major challenge was the lack of kerosene to power the stove to cook the soup.
“Many families are finding it difficult to feed due to the present economic hardship; I wonder if many people can afford to buy kerosene at the current price”.
Mr Sunny Nwogu, a public affairs analyst, said that some residents had been compelled to improvise kitchens within their apartments “to be able to cook with firewood”.
“My worry is that the current economic situation is biting harder and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight,” Nwogu said.
The respondents appealed to the Federal Government to put measures in place to alleviate the situation, to tackle the plight of the masses.