There is increasing concern over the extremely high cost of cooking gas in Usen, a student dominated community, in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State.
It is no longer news that the multiplier effect has caused the people, especially students, mainly of the Edo State Polytechnic, Usen a lot of stress to their finances.
The reactions from the students though understandable, cannot go un noticed, against the backdrop that it is telling much on their meager financial resources which is hardly enough to meet their daily needs
The high cost has attracted comments from both the students who are among the end users and the entire community population
Vendors of the product are not left out of what many considered as outrageous and frightening.
No doubt, this high cost has not only caused a lot of hardship on both the sellers and buyers, but everyone that cooking gas has become an indispensable part of their daily requirement
An interaction with some vendors of the product in the Usen community revealed that one kilogramme of cooking gas was sold for N300 when they started the business of selling cooking gas few years back.
According to a cooking gas vendor, the item sold for N300 per Kg when he started the business.
“Since then, it has been increasing gradually and now, 1kg is sold at the rate of about N850.”
He noted that the high cost of the cooking gas has affected his business to the extent that it has reduced the purchasing power of their customers
“Before people, were buying 3kg, 4kg and more than that at a time; but, now the reverse is the case.
“The highest they buy now is N1,500; at times, N1,000 , N500, even N200. It no longer moves as it was before,” he said.
The hardship it has caused the students is more because, students mostly do not have alternatives.
A student noted that other alternatives that seem to be available are still costly.
Our investigation revealed that some of the negative effects associated with the high price of cooking gas on the students, include hardship/hunger; health challenges; use of charcoal/firewood; kerosene/electricity, etc…
For instance, the high cost of cooking gas sometimes pushes students into hunger. Some have food items, but no source of cooking it.
Using firewood or charcoal for instance, can cause health challenges to the students and can even cause unnecessary delays in their school works, especially in the rainy season when woods have been soaked by water from the rain.
As we all know, firewood causes smoke and smoke is dangerous to human health.
CHARCOAL/FIREWOOD – For students that live in the hostels, it is very difficult for them to get a substitution or alternative for costly cooking gas. Even some of the students do not have charcoal pots.
KEROSENE/ ELECTRICITY – The majority of students do not have a warmer, electric pot, not even stove. Even those that have these things, have to pay a high electricity bill, while buying litres of kerosene is as costly as cooking gas itself.
So, it is obvious that most of the alternatives at the reach of the students have their negative side.
This has left the students with no other choice than to bear the consequences of the high cost of cooking gas.
Meanwhile, the students community has appealed to the Edo State and the Federal Government to come to the aid of Nigerian students by providing a cushioning effect on the high cost of cooking gas. needs of the people.”