Household Energy consumption accounts for about 80% of total energy consumption in developing countries while cooking energy account for about 95% of this. Energy for cooking could be in form of fuel wood, charcoal, sawdust, kerosene, gas and electricity. Cooking energy has environmental implication as well as affects income of women who primarily cook for family as efficient cooking energy gives time for other income generating activities
1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The strives for survival coupled with geometric population growth worsened by extreme poverty in most of the developing countries as well as the quest for more comfort are the major causes of natural resources depletion the world over. One of the environmental resources over-exploited in Nigeria without adequate replacement is forest resources, especially wood products which becomes the only available source of household energy as a result scarcity and unavailability of other clean energy such as electricity and even kerosene. (Audu, 2013a).
Kerosene provides energy for rural household, employment and income for rural dwellers, and is a part of the energy requirement for cooking in urban areas throughout Nigeria (Moss and Morgan, 1981).
Kerosene is the second major source of domestic energy in Nigeria, but its use is often not smooth due to scarcity and high purchasing cost (Audu, 2013a). It has been established that kerosene is mostly used in urban areas of Nigeria (Akwa et al., 2008; NBS, 2009).
Audu (2013a) has described Nigeria as a rich country in disguise leading to high poverty rate especially in rural areas as well as unemployment. Many Nigerians live below poverty level and as such cannot afford the cost of kerosene, which is now an essential commodity and more expensive than premium motor spirit (petrol).
For instance, as petrol is sold for ninety seven naira (N97.00) per litre, equivalent quantity of kerosene sell at hundred and fifty naira and above (N150.00) in most filling stations across the country with long queues. This makes most Nigerians to depend on “nature” for fuels, hence high rate of fuel-wood consumption, leading to unsustainable extraction and depletion in most cases. It should be noted that the main reason for energy demand in Nigeria is cooking. Moreover, government had attempted to staunch their legislative power to make kerosene easily accessible to the poor masses under the pretense of “supposed subsidies” on other petroleum products. Many rural and urban households therefore resort to using biofuel energy. The implication of this with regard to an increasing deforestation in Nigeria can be well conceptualized if one realizes that about two decades ago, 80.00% of the Nigerian population who were mostly rural dwellers depended solely on traditional fuel wood supplies for their domestic energy needs (Adegoke, 1993). The percentage of rural population that was using fuel wood and charcoal in 2008 was 90.00%, with national usage being 76.7% (Demographic and Health Survey, 2009).
Although the Nigerian government had for a long time insisted on deregulation of the “downstream sector of oil sector”, labour and other civil protests have repeatedly resulted in reconsidering the issue. By July 2008, however, the government not only fixed the petroleum price at N65/L, but also promoted the availability of kerosene and reduced its official price to N50/L. This reduction lasted for one year and it represents about 50% of the average black market and retail price that the product was sold before. The government’s position then was to subsidize the product for the people. However, subsidies on petroleum products are often pocketed by the marketers through illegal fuel exportation, fuel diversion and creation of artificial scarcity.
Furthermore, the key players as well as the measures put in place by the stakeholders to ensure that this all important product is available on sustainable basis are unclear.
This had led to significant increase in energy costs for various uses especially cooking by household. Therefore, it has now become imperative to carry out this study which is aimed at analyzing the consumption of kerosene in Nigeria with a particular interest in Nasarawa Local government Area of Nasarawa state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It will be an understatement to assert that energy problem in Nigeria had over the past few decades grown from bad to worse. The crises, like cancerous cells had rapidly spread in magnitude of unimaginable dimension to all sectors of the economy. The desirability of clean energy is justified because it minimizes the release of air pollutants, which also constitute some externalities to households with adverse welfare consequences.
The unavailability of cleaner energy like electricity, gas and kerosene has make urban and rural dwellers resort to the use of alternative and available source of household energy – firewood which has left and will always leave behind a great adverse effects such deforestation, environmental pollution, and other health problems.
The use of kerosene as source of household energy for cooking, lighting and warming has met a great obstacles as a result of its unavailable and high cost of purchase, therefore this research work makes attempt at analysis the level of consumption of this all important commodity in Nasarawa local government as the next available source of clean household energy to the use of firewood and charcoals.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
This research work is aimed at analyzing the rate / level of consumption of kerosene as source of household energy in Nasarawa Local government of Nasarawa state.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research is of great significant to the rural / urban dwellers, government of Nigeria and other relevant stakeholders as it enlighten them on the uses, advantages, disadvantages, cost, availability and the level of consumption of kerosene in Nigeria and Nasarawa Local Government in particular.
Researchers and students who are or may be interested in further research in the level of consumption of kerosene as one of the major source of household energy will find this research of great significant as it forms the base for further research and improvement.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the statistics analysis on the consumption of kerosene in Nasarawa Local Government. It will be limited to the discussion on level of consumption, availability, cost and alternative source of house energy to the use of the commodity.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study encounters some problems in terms of scare related literature as there is no previous record kept by the government or other relevant stakeholders on the consumption of kerosene in Nasarawa local government.
The scope of the study is also limited to Nasarawa Local government as a result insufficient fund and time for the researcher to carryout the research; however the researcher tries all possible options to ensure that the aim of this research is not overcome by the aforementioned limitations.
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
For the purpose of achieving the set goals of this research, the researcher formulate the following research hypothesis which will be tested at the end of the research.
H0: The high cost of kerosene and its unavailability has no significant effect on its consumption level in Nasarawa.
H1: The high cost of kerosene and its unavailability has a significant effect on its consumption level in Nasarawa.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
KEROSENE: Kerosene is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid widely used as a fuel in industry and households. It is a light fuel oil obtained by distilling petroleum, used especially in jet engines and domestic heating boilers; paraffin oil.
CONSUMPTION: This is the process in which the substance of a thing is completely destroyed, used up, or incorporated or transformed into something else. Consumption of goods and services is the amount of them used in a particular time period.
HOUSEHOLD: A household consists of one or more people who live in the same dwelling and also share at meals or living accommodation, and may consist of a single family or some other grouping of people. A single dwelling will be considered to contain multiple households if either meals or living space are not shared.
FUEL WOOD: is a fuel such as firewood, charcoal, chips, sheets, pellets, and sawdust which are used as a source of household energy for the purpose of cooking, warming and lighting.[email protected][email protected]