Fynecounrty is a 60-year-old woman who depends solely on kerosene for her daily cooking.
She is grateful to the Federal Government for initiating the Kero-Correct Programme that slashed the cost of kerosene from over N100 per litre to N50 per litre.
Fynecountry was all smiles when she bought 25 litres of kerosene at the NNPC Mega Station in Port Harcourt at N50 per litre, as she insisted that she had never bought the fuel at such a low price in the last five years.
“I am grateful to the Federal Government for this initiative; it has helped me and other mothers who depend solely on kerosene to cook for our families. At least, these 25 litres of kerosene I bought at a cheap rate will last for a long time.
“I commend the government and wish that it continues, as kerosene will directly get to several communities at a cheap rate,” she said.
Similarly, Mrs Fortune Abang, a 48-year-old trader and mother of five, also benefitted from the Kero-Correct programme.
”I have been buying kerosene for between N130 and N140 per litre for more than one year and it appears there will be no end to the high price.
”However, the Kero-Correct programme has really saved me and many families from the big burden of looking for kerosene and buying it at a high price.
“I thank the Federal Government for initiating the programme. Many families, especially people at the grassroots, can now afford to buy kerosene at a cheap price and use it for their daily cooking.
“Kerosene is the cheapest domestic fuel used by many families in Nigeria for their daily cooking.
“At times, when my children return from school, they advise me to desist from using firewood because their teachers told them that continuous falling of trees provokes deforestation.
“For me and other families that cannot afford the high cost of kerosene, we had to resort to using firewood for our daily cooking. But thank God, the price of kerosene has been reduced through the Kero-Correct programme,’’ she said.
Mrs Edith Johnson, the South-South Zonal Coordinator of the Kero-Correct programme, said: “The exercise is aimed at bringing kerosene at the regulated price to all nooks and crannies of the country in a three month-campaign.
“The main purpose of the campaign is to force down the price of kerosene and ensure its distribution to every household in the country at the rate of N50 per litre and 25 litres per individual,’’ she said.
Explaining the programme’s processes in the three-month campaign, Johnson said: “Under the campaign, the NNPC is to distribute 1,500 tankers of kerosene to 37 NNPC mega stations, 12 floating stations and 524 NNPC affiliate stations.
“The product will be distributed transparently to the right customers and some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been nominated to monitor the process,’’ she said.
Mr Anthony Egbuche, the team leader of the 25 NGOs which are collaborating with the NNPC on the Kero-Correct programme, said that the programme was basically aimed at getting the product to the final users in a hitch-free manner.
“The aim is to enable the ordinary people to buy kerosene at N50 per litre and we will monitor programme strictly so as to ensure that the end users actually get the product,’’ he said.
Egbuche said that the NGOs would remain at the various centres to ensure that the masses actually benefitted from the programme.
However, MrAjomiweEzuma, a Port Harcourt-based historian, said that kerosene sales at a cheap rate to Nigerians would surely alleviate the sufferings of many persons and homes.
“You will recall that the search for kerosene had brought untold hardship to many families, particularly those who suffered explosions caused by fake or adulterated kerosene.
“The present exercise by government is a step in the right direction, and we hope that it will be continuous so as to make kerosene available to all households, especially those in rural communities,’’ he said.
Johnson said after the three months of the Kero-Correct programme, an impact assessment survey of the scheme would be carried out to determine the government’s next line of action.
Egbuche stressed that in three months’ time, many homes would have access to kerosene procured at the regulated price, adding that if the government decided to extend the programme, the price of kerosene would crash and Nigerians would be better off for it.
All the same, Johnson urged Nigerians to endeavour to buy kerosene from NNPC mega stations and affiliate stations.
“This campaign is borne out of the federal government’s desire to supply kerosene to the people who really need it, so as to reduce the level of hardship associated with efforts to procure the product in Nigeria,’’ she said.
Mbonye writes for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)