Ice block sellers are making brisk business in Kano due to the high demand for cold water occasioned by the hot weather conditions.
The prevailing hot weather, coupled with the epileptic power supply and the Ramadan fast, all combined to create a high demand for cold water by residents.
Further checks revealed that apart from customers who buy the ice to mix with water for drinking, some other patrons included sachet water vendors, and soft drinks sellers, who need the ice blocks to keep their wares cold.
A survey conducted in the metropolis showed that prices of ice blocks had gone up by over 100 per cent over the old prices.
The vendors, mostly young men and women, normally commence selling from 4:00 p.m. daily at the various roadsides within the metropolis.
According to the survey, a small size of the commodity is now selling at N100 as against the old price of N50, while the big size sells for N150 as against its old price of N80.
Audu Zango, who owns a cold room at Dakata, said that the patronage has doubled with the commencement of the Ramadan fast.
“Business had never been this brisk for the past few months. I make returns from daily sales of about N20,000,” he said.
Mr Garba said the business is seasonal, but they use almost half the profit to pay electricity bills and buy diesel to operate their generators following the persistent power outages.
Another dealer, Dele Bola, disclosed that he and other sellers recorded more patronages when there was a power outage, as many people usually rushed to them to acquire the items.
He said he sold more than 200 blocks of ice daily, as against less than 100 blocks during off-season periods.
Mr Bola expressed joy over the patronage, especially during this period of Ramadan fast, saying, “The business is profitable as I make between N15,000 and N20,000 per day for the past three days.”
Amina Sabo, a buyer, expressed her concern over the price increases within just a few days of the commencement of Ramadan.
She advised the traders to be God-fearing by reducing commodity prices to earn Allah’s blessings.
On his part, Baba Bala, a customer, said he bought ice blocks of N300 to N400 daily for his family.
According to him, ice block vendors usually increase prices when there is a power outage due to high demand, and most people cannot afford to use a generator to power their refrigerators.