VAM News Update
Gas retailers are sounding the alarm, warning that the price of a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder could surge to N18,000 by December if the Federal Government does not intervene to regulate the actions of terminal owners.
Olatunbosun Oladapo, the President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, raised these concerns about the soaring cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas. He points to an alarming increase in gas prices at terminals, where rates have surged from an average of ₦9 – ₦10 million per 20 metric tons to a staggering ₦14 million per 20 metric tons, according to reports from The Punch.
Expressing his apprehension, Oladapo said, “There is a ridiculous hike in gas prices going on right now, and I am afraid that if the Federal Government does not step in to checkmate the activities of these terminal owners, prices could reach as high as N18 million per metric ton by December. This means that a 12.5kg cylinder could cost as much as N18,000.”
He attributes this unjustifiable price hike to terminal owners who, he alleges, are exploiting the excuse of a high foreign exchange rate to increase prices, causing significant hardship to the general population.
Oladapo noted that there is no reasonable justification for this price surge, especially since the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) continues supplying the gas market. He said, “NNPCL currently takes 59 per cent of the gas produced by NLNG, although NLNG has also increased its price from N6 million to N8 million. Because NLNG has increased prices, NNPCL and terminal owners have raised prices to N14 million.”
“The price increase that would take effect is not retailers’ fault. It is the fault of NLNG and terminal owners. Even NNPCL is hiding because they are now privatised to increase prices. As of last week, 1kg was N800 at the terminal, now N1,200, and could reach N1,500 by December if care is not taken,” he said.
Furthermore, the NLPGA boss stressed the dire consequences of such price hikes, stating that Nigerians cannot afford gas, forcing many to resort to firewood and charcoal for their cooking needs. “The surprising thing was that they visited President Tinubu last week and promised to work with his administration to improve life. Now they have come back and started doing something else. Where are all the palliatives and buses they promised to donate? We have not seen anything,” he said.
While gas terminal owners do not have a formal association, Friday Agwu, spokespersons for NavGas, and Nipco Plc’s Askay Kumar, attribute the price hike to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates and the international crude oil market. Kumar said, “No one is selling at N1,200/kg. I have not heard such a high price yet,” though he declined to disclose the landing cost.”
On the other hand, Friday attributes the price surge to “flat price increase and forex challenges, and LPG responding to a crude price increase at the international market.”
The looming threat of cooking gas becoming a luxury item raises concerns about its accessibility to average Nigerians and its impact on their daily lives. With rising costs, many are left with limited cooking options, posing challenges for households nationwide.