Accepted 20thJanuary, 2020.
Firewood as a source of energy plays a vital role in household energy requirements. Due to accumulative economic hardship in the country, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to afford conventional fuels. This study measures empirical estimate and determinants of firewood expenditure in Bauchi State. To achieve these objectives, three hundred and sixty firewood buying units (households) were selected using a combination of random and purposive sampling techniques. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent t-test, and regression analysis. The findings of the study reveals that most firewood users had formal education and the mean family size per firewood buying unit was found to be 9.0 in Sudan Savanna and 7.0 in Guinea Savanna ecological zones of the State. The study has also equally revealed that firewood expenditure, family’s income level and price of kerosene were found to be significantly (p<0.001) different between Sudan Savanna zone and Guinea Savanna ecological zones. Income elasticity of demand was reported to be less than 1. Result of the regression analysis has also revealed that family’s income level, kerosene price and family size have significant (p<0.01; p<0.001 and p<0.01) influence on firewood expenditure. Accordingly, estimated firewood expenditure by the regression model in dry season per household was shown to be N 5017.21 in Sudan Savanna zone and N 7225.67 in Guinea Savanna zone. In wet season, estimated mean firewood expenditure per household was reported to be N 6025.92 and N7570.98 per month in Sudan and Guinea Savanna zones respectively. Conclusively, the findings of the study have shown that firewood expenditure and price of kerosene were higher in wet season than in dry season. Some households were also shown to spend relatively higher proportion of their income on firewood expenditure. To cushion the effect of this, the study has recommended among other things the adoption of improved energy efficient stoves to curve wasteful spending. Also, the price of kerosene (firewood closest substitute) should be liberalize and be made easily accessible at a price which people can afford.
Keywords: Firewood Expenditure; Sudan Savanna; Guinea Savanna; Dry Season; Wet Season