Kano – Ice block sellers are making brisk business in Kano due to the high demand for cold water, occasioned by the hot weather condition and Ramadan fast.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the rise in the temperature to over 37 degree Celsius in the last few weeks had exposed the residents of the city to severe heat.
NAN also reports that the prevailing hot weather condition, coupled with epileptic power supply, had made life difficult for the residents, resulting in significant rise in the demand for cold water.
A NAN survey in the metropolis showed that prices of ice block had gone up by over 100 per cent as against the old prices.
According to the survey, a small size of the commodity is now being sold at N100 as against N50, while a big sized ice block sells for N200 as against its old price of N100.
Operators of cold rooms, who produced the ice block in commercial quantity, told NAN that the patronage had been very high since the hot season began.
One of the operators, Ibrahim Bashir, who owns a cold room along Independence Road in the metropolis, said he was surprised by the rush for ice blocks since the commencement of the Ramadan fast.
He, however, said the business was seasonal, but they used half of the profit to pay electricity bill and buy diesel to operate their generators following the persistent power outages.
Another operator, Mr. Ibitoye Samuel, said he sold more than 500 blocks of ice daily, as against less than 100 blocks during off season.
“My sales have increased astronimicaly; I am happy and making good savings to meet my family needs,” he said.
Another operator, Mr. Audu Bitrus, expressed joy over the appreciable patronage especially during this period of Ramadan fast.
“The business is profitable as I make between N20,000 and N25,000 a day,“Bitrus said.
A resident, Mallam Sani Yakasai, told NAN that he spent about N400 daily on ice block due to large number of his family.
“We need chilled water to quench our thirst during Iftar and afterwards.
“The price of ice block is becoming unbearable as the demand for its keeps increasing due to Ramadan fast,” he said.
A major producer of the commodity at Sharada market in the metropolis, Malam Abubakar Auduwa, also attributed the high cost of the commodity to the high demand for the product particularly during this Ramadan period.
Audu further explained that some people go to as far as Niger Republic to import the commodity despite all other challenges.
A cross section of buyers, who also spoke to NAN, expressed concern over the price increase within just few days of the commencement of Ramadan fast.
Some of the buyers advised traders to be God fearing by reducing the prices of the commodity to earn Allah’s blessings during this sacred month of Ramadan.
Reacting on the current power outages in Kano, the Public Relations Officer of the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) Mr Mohammed Kandi said what the company was getting was nothing to write home about.
“The situation is very pathetic as we are getting only between 60 megawatts and 70 megawatts.
“The situation in the last two days was even worse as we are giving only 50 megawatts to share among the three states of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa as well as some parts of Bauchi state we are serving.” he said.
He, therefore, called on their customers to bear with the company as the situation is beyond its control. (NAN).