Gas retailers have issued a warning that the price of a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder may rise to N18,000 by December if the Federal Government does not intervene to regulate the activities of terminal owners.
Speaking in an interview with Punch, Olatunbosun Oladapo, the President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, explained that the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, has recently skyrocketed at terminals. This increase has seen prices climb from approximately N9-N10 million per 20 metric tons to N14 million per 20 metric tons.
Oladapo expressed concerns over the current absurd surge in gas prices, emphasizing that without government intervention to check the actions of terminal owners, the price could surge as high as N18 million per metric ton by December. Consequently, a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder could cost as much as N18,000.
He criticized terminal owners for capitalizing on the pretext of high foreign exchange rates to raise prices, which ultimately adds to the hardship faced by the masses. Oladapo argued that terminal owners lack justification for increasing prices, given that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited still supplies the market.
He pointed out that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) currently receives 59 percent of the gas produced by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), despite NLNG having increased its prices from N6 million to N8 million. The subsequent price hike to N14 million, according to Oladapo, is not the fault of retailers but rather of NLNG and terminal owners.
Oladapo expressed concerns about the impact of these price increases on ordinary Nigerians, particularly low-income earners who may find it increasingly difficult to afford gas. Consequently, many are resorting to alternatives like firewood and charcoal for cooking. He also criticized the lack of progress on the palliatives and buses that were promised during a visit to President Tinubu, raising questions about the commitments made by these stakeholders to improve the lives of Nigerians.