In a dire warning issued today, LPG gas retailers have sounded the alarm that the price of a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder may skyrocket to a staggering N18,000 by December of this year. This alarming prediction comes with a stern call for the Federal Government to take immediate action and curb the activities of terminal owners before this looming crisis becomes a reality.
President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Olatunbosun Oladapo, conveyed this unsettling news during a press conference held on Sunday. He highlighted that the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, has surged to astronomical heights at terminals. This surge is attributed to a sudden and drastic increment in prices, escalating from an already elevated range of N9-N10 million per 20 metric tons to an exorbitant N14 million per 20 metric tons.
The implications of such a substantial price hike in cooking gas are manifold. Households, already grappling with the rising cost of living, will be burdened with even higher expenses for essential cooking gas. Small businesses reliant on LPG for their daily operations will face increased operational costs, potentially leading to layoffs or even closures. This could have a cascading effect on the economy as a whole.
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Concerns have also been raised about the accessibility of cooking gas to low-income households, as this price surge threatens to widen the gap between those who can afford it and those who cannot. Safety concerns may arise if consumers turn to alternative, less safe cooking methods due to the unaffordability of LPG.
Gas retailers are calling on the Federal Government to intervene urgently. They are urging regulators to investigate the reasons behind the abrupt price spike at terminals and implement measures to stabilize the market. Failure to do so, they warn, could result in a devastating economic impact for Nigerians.
Olatunbosun Oladapo, the President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, conveyed to *The PUNCH* on Sunday that the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, commonly referred to as cooking gas, has “gone astronomically high at terminals as a result of a sudden increment from between N9-N10m per 20 metric tons to N14m per 20 metric tons.
“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, price could reach as high as N18m per metric tons by December. This means that a 12.5kg could go as high as N18,000.”
According to him, terminal owners were “hiding under the guise of high foreign exchange to increase price to further increase the suffering of the masses.”
Olatunbosun emphasized that there was no valid reason for the price hike, given that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited continued to supply the market. He stated, “NNPCL currently takes 59 per cent of the gas produced by NLNG, although NLNG has also increased its price from N6m to N8m. Now, because NLNG has increased price, NNPCL and terminal owners have increased price to N14m.
“The increase in price that would take effect is not the fault of retailers. It is the fault of NLNG and terminal owners. Even NNPCL is hiding under the guise that they are now privatised to increase prices. As of last week, 1kg was N800 at the terminal, now it is N1,200, and could reach N1,500 by December if care is not taken.”
“Now, the ordinary man would not be able to buy gas. How many minimum wage earners can afford gas now? Everyone is turning to firewood and charcoal. The surprising thing was that they visited President Tinubu last week, and promised to work together with his administration to make life better. Now they have come back and started doing something else. Where are all the palliatives and busses they promised to donate? We have not seen anything.”
Reportedly, there was a planned increase in cooking gas prices scheduled for August. Subsequently, prices surged significantly, with a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas reaching an astonishing N10,000.
While gas terminal owners lacked a formal association, spokespersons for NavGas, Friday Agwu, and Askay Kumar of Nipco Plc, attributed the price surge to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates and the dynamics of the international market.
“No one is selling at N1,200/kg. I have not heard such high price yet,” Kumar told The PUNCH via a telephone conversation on Sunday. He however declined to respond when asked how much the landing cost was.
Friday blamed the price on forex and raise in price of crude oil at the international market.
“Flat price increase and forex challenges, and LPG responding to crude price increase at the international market.”
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