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DAILY TRUST Thursday, January 27,




Kerosene price hike: Charcoal sellers smile to bank 8y Usman A. 8.110 AS the price of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) goes up by Nloo per-

cent across the country, charcoal sellers in the Federal Capital Territory are now smiling to the bank. As result of the situation, charcoal has become hot cake whUe patronage and prices have increased too.

Most residents who could not afford kerosene due to its scarcity and high cost have resorted to

charcoal as an alternative means of cooking. The demand of it is

very high, thereby leading to price increase. Some of the sellers who spoke to our reporter could not hide their joy. Mrs Esther Omale who sells charcoal at Dutse - A1haji told our reporter that charcoal business is booming due to high cost ofkerosene and that they are now smiling to the bank. She said that a small leather bag ofcharcoal which hitherto sold for N50 is now sold for NIOO while that ofNlOO now goes for N200. A bag of it which cost NI, 200 is

now sold for NI, 600. "Before now we used to buy a bag of charcoal at the cost of N800 and sold it for Nl, 200 but now those who supply us sell to us at the cost ofNl, 000. So we have to increase the price so as to make profit. I bought 30 bags on Monday but it remains only these two bags out of the 30 bags. As you can see the business is flourishing and I am happy about that:' she said. She said that she used to sell two bags of charcoal a day but that

since kerosene hike~ she has beep

selling more than five bags a day, saying that patronage has also doubled as a result of the hike. He explained that those who supplied them usuallygetthe product from Nasarawa State, Abaji and Kwali in the FCT as well as parts of Plateau State. Asked how much she made in month, Esther Simply smiled and said, "business is good. I am happy because I can now save money I started the business with initial capital of N5, 000 but now I can boast of something good in my

account;'. Another seller, Ijeoma, whose stock has been exhausted, said she requested for 40 bags on Saturday but was supplied only 25 bags and that she sold the remaining ones today yesterday. '1\s it is now, charcoal is the only hope for the common man as gas and kerosene prices have gone up and not many people can use fire wood. N I 00 ker0sene cannot cooka mudu ofbeans but NIOO charcoal will, hence people had to abandoned kerosene and gas for charcoal," he said.

Naira gains on energy firm dollar sales THE Nigerian naira NGN=DI firmed against the sliding U.S dollar on the interbank market yesterday as energy firms' month-end dollar sales buoyed liqUidity and supported the

local currency, traders said. The dollar yesterday hit a

two-month low against the euro after a promise of spending cuts from

U.S. President Barack

Obama cemented expectations the Fed will retain faith in its ultra-loose policy.

Nigeria's currency closed at

seller at Mushin market, said that the prices of palm oil and groundnut oil were increasing daily. The increase in the prices of groundnut oU was aitributed to the reduction in its supply as traders had yet to get adequate fresh stock from the Nigerian companies. "It has been very difficult fur us to buy these commodities from the Nigerian producers. "Now, we go aU the way to buy them from Cotonou and our customers do not understand our plight;' she said AdewaIe said that the Nigerian Customs made things difficult fur them at the border to bring the products to Nigeria, addingthatthecostof transport contributed to the increase. Also, at Apongbon Market, a big tuber of yam fonnerly sold fur between NI50 and N200 now cost between N350 and450. "The prices ofyarns had gone up now because this is not the season. What we are selling now are leftovers ofthelastrainyseason. (NAN)

because more energy companies will be selling dollars between now and next week,

coupled with weak demand at the official window," one dealer said. Traders said the local unit of Exxon Mobil (XOlvI.Nl sold about $105 million to some lenders yesterday, after Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) sold an

by major energy companies to


some lenders yesterday, while weak demand at the official window also provided support

economy sell dollars towards

The central bank sold $250

which, he said, washed away onion THE prices of staple foods are on the plantations. At the same market, a increase in Lagos markets, the News AgencyofNigeri. (NAN) reports. paint bucket ofyeUowand whitegarri A market survey carried out路 witnessed a slight increase in price. in Mushin, Oyingbo and ApongA bucket now costs between N350 bon markets yesterday indicated and N370, as against N300 and N320 increase in the prices of foods items it was sold in December. such as garri, yam, onions, groundnut Mrs Roseline Chukwuroa, a trader, selling foodstuffs, aitributed oil and palm oil. NAN, however, reports that prices the increase to the difficulty encountered by the funners to harvest their of food items such as rice and beans remained stable as they were during produce. "Farmers had complained to us that the land is very hard to dig the Yuletide season. The Caprice brand of rice due to thedryseasoIL "As a result, they remained at N9,OOO while other said they experienced a lot ofdifficulties in digging the ground to harvest," brands such as Special, Mama Gold, Mama Africa and Tomato remained she said at between N7, 500 and N8, 000. At the Mushin Market, the price NAN reports that at Oyingbo ofpaIm oil had also gone up by 49 per cent within a period of two months. Market, a big sack of onions, which sold for N36, 000 before the rainy seaAs at November, a 25-litre gaUon of son in 2010, now sells fur N42,OOO, palm oU was sold fur N4,OOO while it while eight big pieces were sold for . was currently sold fur N8, 200. NSOO as against N300. NAN also reports that a 25-litre Malam Sulalman Audu, an onion gallon of groundnut oU was sold for trader, said that the increase in the N7, 200 as against the fonner price of prices was due to the heavy floods N5,800. in the northern part of the country Mrs Bosede AdewaIe, a palm oU

"We see the naira appreciating further in the coming days

151.95 to the dollar from 152.20 at Tuesday's close follOWing a large foreign exchange sale

for the naira.

Food prices up in Lagos

million at 150.31 naira to the dollar, a little shy of the $256.5 million demanded, but equal to the $250 million sold at 150.40 naira per dollar on Monday.

unspecified quantity on TuesMost energy firms in subSaharan Africa's second biggest the end of the month to meet local obligations.

AFAN to screen N1bn agric loan applicants ALL Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kebbi chapter, has said that it will screen prospective applicants for the

commercial agricultural credit scheme. The chairman of the chapter, Alhaji Bello Kalgo, who said this yesterday in Birnin Kebbi while addressing farmers. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that each state of the federation is to access NI billion from the N200 billion

would ensure prompt repayment of the loan to enable other applicants to benefit. He said that besides boosting farmers' productivity, the scheme would also provide

more employment opportunities as well as increase the revenue accruing from their farming activities. The chairman said that the

state government had guaranteed the loan with no interest attached.

commercial agriculture loan

He said the association was

prOVided by the Federal Gov-

ready to attract more support


to farmers in the areas of timely

The CBN is administering the fund in collaboration with some deSignated commercial banks. Kalgo said the screening

release of fertiliser, modern farming implements, seedlings and pesticides, especially in areas devastated by flooding last year. (NAN).

,., rO;'.


AFAN to screen N 1 bn agric loan applicants