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Marketers raise concern about rising price of cooking gas

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Cooking gas. Photo: PIXABAY

With the yuletide gradually approaching marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas, have raised concerns about the hike in the price of the commodity, due to the alleged scarcity of the product.

If the trend continues, consumers may have to pay more for the product, even as the government seeks to encourage utilisation of clean gas.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) decreased by -2.34% month-on-month and by -5.76% year-on-year to N4,124.20 in September 2019 from N4,223.08 in August 2019, largely due to the adoption of LPG in any households.

Operators note that the LPG market is growing exponentially and increasingly being embraced by Nigerians, as the number of households that have embraced LPG has increased compared to the past five years.

States with the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) were Akwa Ibom (N4,685.05), Benue (N4,600.00) and Cross River (N4,565.32).

Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), Bassey Essien expressed worry about the current price hike of cooking gas despite the concerted efforts of the government and stakeholders to deepen the usage of LPG in the country.

“At this time of the year in the past, price hikes used to be attributable to the winter season and increased demand for heating energy and international price index. This we have consistently questioned why a product in abundance in our country should become such a victim of any slightest issue occurring internationally.

“Within the last week, LPG price has soared so astronomically that it beats the imagination of marketers as to the cause. The price hike will ultimately dovetail into high prices to the consumers. The consumers will, in turn, want to blame marketers who unfortunately are also caught up in the web of price hikes.

“Within a five-day period, the price of a 20MT of LPG which hitherto sold for N3.15m, suddenly jumped to N3.5m, N3.9m and within a few hours moved to N4.2m despite the fact that same product has been in the storage of these Terminals when price was even sub N3.5m, so why the sudden upsurge?

“The Association is hereby disassociating itself and members from the antics of the current price hike and therefore maintaining that the price increase is not the handiwork of marketers but rather that of the Terminal Owner, Importers and the NLNG”, he added.

Essien also noted that marketers are equally bemoaning the situation as the development has adversely affected business planning, adding that if the trend was not addressed immediately, the price of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas may soon sell for over N6, 000.00 and well out of the purchasing power of the average consumer.

“We thus urge the government and NLNG to urgently increase the quantity of LPG earmarked for domestic consumption as the present allocation cannot sustain demand. NLNG should also work out a more robust delivery logistics so that there will be no supply lacuna”, he added.


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