The cost of filling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas has increased from N4,000 in December 2020 to N6,200 as at July 24, 2021. This is about a 55% increase in the price.

This was confirmed by our analyst after conducting interviews with several consumers, who lamented over what they described as an unfair hike across major cities in Nigeria.

The Publisher Nigeria gathered that some of them are concerned that if there are no interventions by the government, the cost of the essential commodity will rise further to N7,000 by the end of the year.

Consumers lament over hike

Lola Omole, a consumer based in Magboro, Ogun State, was shocked when she approached a retailer in her area to refill her 12.5 kg cylinder and the attendant told her the cost was N6,200.

She told Nairametrics, “I could not believe my ears when the boy told me the price has risen to N6,200. I bought it at N4,000 around December before I travelled and it is shocking it has risen that much.

“I had no choice but to buy it, as other alternatives are not options for me. I would not have felt it much if the power supply was regular.”

Another consumer in Lagos, Akinola Arigbede, told Nairametrics that he refilled his 12.5kg cylinder with N6,300 last week Friday.

ccording to him, the rising cost of gas will have several effects on an average Nigerian and one of such is the cost of food bought from vendors.

He said, “The cost of food items like rice, beans and even garri has been on the increase for months. The hike in the cost of gas will make matters worse, as several food vendors now use gas for their cooking.”

However, it appears the cost of the commodity is cheaper in cities like Port-Harcourt, Rivers State and Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

Elijah Akerele, a civil servant based in Abuja (around Sun City Estate), argued that though refilling a 12.5kg cylinder in Abuja was cheaper compared to Lagos, it was still on the high side.

He said, “I refilled last week Thursday at N5,600, which is up from the N4,800 that I did about two months ago. If the hike is not controlled, several people will be forced to consider alternative sources, which may contribute to air pollution.”

What they are saying

National Chairman of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Branch of NUPENG, Mr Chika Umudu, explained that the price hike was due to the country’s high dependence on importation for LPG.

He said, “As the dollar is appreciating against the naira, the price of LPG is increasing.”

According to him, the Nigerian LNG Limited, which accounts for more than 40% of the LPG supply volumes in the country, should be supplying the domestic market in accordance to the demand, rather than having a fixed quantity per annum.

“The increase in cooking gas price, which started last December, doesn’t speak well of the policy direction of the government.

“As much as I will not advocate for subsidy the way it is being done with petrol, I think there are ways the government could make cooking gas affordable to Nigerians,” he added.

A source in the Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers, explained that there was need for frequent supply of LPG by the NLNG, adding that it was only one vessel they (NLNG) had, and it supplied Lagos and Port Harcourt; so the replacement cycle took longer.

He said, “Since the country depends more on imports for the commodity, the demand for scarce foreign exchange by marketers to import the product will cause price hikes.

“There is a need for the domestic supply to be increased so that we can have less dependence on importation.”

What you should know

The development has forced some Nigerians to turn to alternatives such as charcoal, kerosene and firewood amid high unemployment and poverty levels in the country.

Bottomline

There seems to be a renewed increase in the use of LPG, both in the rural and urban areas, as an alternative to firewood and kerosene for cooking.

Considering that LPG is environment friendly, clean, economical and safe, there is need for government to make the product much more affordable to most Nigerians.

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