Charcoal traders like Ms. Chigozie Arinze are doing more and more business, as Nigerians continue to patronize charcoal sellers as a substitute for cooking gas due to its ever increasing price; ADEOLA TUKURU reports.
In large cities, such as Kano, Port Harcourt, Lagos and FCT, the demand for charcoal due to rising fuel prices is continually found in large markets and the business is booming.
Undoubtedly, the settlers in these cities have a great affinity for roasted foods like roasted plantain, roasted corn, suya, roast fish, etc. and some even use it at home.
Using charcoal to prepare local specialties
In addition, foreigners in these towns and villages find the charcoal very useful as they use it mainly to prepare their local delicacies.
For Madame Chigozie, originally from Delta State and living in Karu, FCT, the high cost of kerosene and cooking gas turned out to be a blessing in disguise for her business.
In a conversation with Business Starter in Abuja, she said more and more people now frequent her as the use of charcoal continues to gain popularity.
She said most roasted yam and plantain vendors frequented her, adding that her sales doubled over time as she enjoyed patronage from a wide range of customers.
She explained that a bag full of charcoal, lasting a month and a half depending on use, now sells for between 2,500 and 3,000 n against 1,500 n.
In his words “I think the high cost of kerosene and gasoline is a blessing in disguise as I now sell about five bags a day, the same measure I sold a week before.
She said her profits over the past two weeks have increased as many people now go to her store to buy charcoal in varying amounts.
Advantage of charcoal for food vendors
“Food vendors are not left out in the charcoal race because they can no longer afford cooking gas prices,” she said.
She explained that the high costs of kerosene and gas had given charcoal a sudden prominence, adding that charcoal vendors were now doing booming business and enjoying high footfall.
“I knew people would be rushing to buy charcoal because it has happened many times, so I bought huge stocks in December so I’m making more profit now,” she said. declared.
She insisted that charcoal is best for cooking, saying it burns a blue flame like gas, urging people to soak up the culture of its use for cooking.
She said that charcoal burns a blue flame like gas and is better than firewood which burns a red flame and makes the pots black and dirty.
The majority of the wood used to produce charcoal comes from trees generally described as hardwoods which exist in large quantities in the north-central regions of Nigeria.
While Business Starter sampled another opinion of residents, Mr Godwin Mbachu said he had to buy a bag of charcoal for his wife because he could no longer afford the high cost of cooking gas.
He urged the federal government to take drastic measures to ensure the availability of kerosene and cooking gas in order to make life cheaper for the masses.
Cooking gas prices
Reports indicate that the price of 12.5 kg of cooking gas has fallen from N 3,200 a few months ago to around N 7,500 in parts of the country.
According to the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Traders (NALPGAM), an increase in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, is worrying.
The President of NALPGAM, Mr. Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, made this known during his speech at the 34th Annual General Assembly (AGM) and the association’s symposium in Lagos.
Ogieva-Okunbor noted that LPG consumption in Nigeria has increased from 550,000 metric tons in 2017 to around 1.2 million metric tons in 2020 thanks to investments by NALPGAM members in LPG plants.
Start a charcoal business in Nigeria
With a large charcoal market existing in Europe, America and Asia, the global value continues to hold its multibillion dollar value. This represents a huge opportunity for pocket investors looking to invest in the energy sector. For example, 70% of the just over 60,000 tonnes of charcoal used each year in the UK comes from Africa.
The value of a ton of charcoal is between 200 and 210 euros. A charcoal supplier exporting between 1,000 and 10,000 tonnes per year would generate an annual income of between 200,000 and 2,000,000 euros.
The charcoal trade
For a very long time, Nigerians focused only on exporting crude oil, and many other exportable natural resources were ignored. But luckily, things seem to have changed these days. Nigerians have now discovered other products that are in great demand in the international market and readily available in Nigeria. Nigeria’s export market is booming like never before.
On the list of very profitable and easy to find exportable products is charcoal. You can earn huge profits with very little effort just by exporting charcoal to Europe and America.
It is the most popular business opportunity exploited in the charcoal industry in Nigeria and globally. With tens of thousands of tons of charcoal exported from Nigeria each year, the income generated makes the sector lucrative. Here, sales could be made by local traders in the market or by large players exporting charcoal products outside the country.
Export, distribution of charcoal
There are markets for charcoal on other continents, the largest market is in Europe. Therefore, when you want to start looking for buyers, you should check out countries like Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Poland to name a few.
You don’t have to worry about the competition in this industry as the demand for charcoal exceeds supply by all means. Even though there are many other countries where charcoal is made (such as Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, and several other African countries), the Nigerian type is mostly preferred over others because it is considered to be of higher quality.
Where to find charcoal
This product is practically available throughout Nigeria as many local communities have perfected the technology of charcoal production. Some known deports of Made in Nigeria charcoal can be found in places like Oyo, Isheyin, Saki Igbo-Ora, Ogbomoso, all in the western part of the country. We also have depots in Jebba, Omu Aran, Egbe, Kabba in the north-central states. Charcoal is also found in abundance in Minna, Jos and Kaduna. In addition, an individual can produce their own charcoal wherever they are.
Uses and requirements
Today, more and more charcoal is used. In addition to being the fuel that is used to cook steaks, hot dogs and hamburgers, a number of companies have found that charcoal can be used in certain metallurgical purification treatments and as a filter to remove carbon. organic compounds such as chlorine, gasoline, pesticides and other toxic chemicals from water and air.
Getting clean, uncontaminated drinking water is a challenge in today’s world due to pollution; our waterways, seas and oceans have been polluted, making it difficult for us to access clean, natural water. So it has become necessary for us to find ways to purify our drinking water without destroying the nutrients and the benefits that natural water is supposed to offer.
One of the ways to do this is to filter the water with charcoal. If you’ve ever seen a black substance in a water filter, it’s charcoal. Interestingly, the concept of using charcoal to purify water is not new; it has been around for ages and was used for this purpose 2,000 years ago. But it is industrializing today more than ever.