Marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, also known as cooking gas, have warned that the price of 12.5kg of cooking gas, which currently sells for between N7,500 and N8, 000, could rise to N10, 000 before December if the sector’s current crisis is not addressed.
Marketers have expressed concern about the supply shortage that is roiling the industry and has resulted in a recent series of price increases. The rise in gas prices has prompted more Nigerians to seek alternative fuel sources such as charcoal, firewood, and sawdust, among other energy sources whose prices have also begun to rise.
Executive secretary of NALPGAM, Mr Bassy Essien insisted that the Federal Government needed to review the recently introduced import charges and Value Added Tax or else, the price of cooking gas may as well get to N10, 000 for a 12.5kg cylinder.
Mr Bassey Essien said:
“Today (Saturday), the price has risen to N7, 500 and N8, 000. The skyrocketing price of gas is our fear and what we are trying to avoid. Early in the year a 20-metric ton of gas was selling for below N5m but today, the same tonnage sells for N10.2m. As long as there is that supply shortage, the available quantity and the dynamics of supply-demand will keep pushing the price higher.
NALPGAM secretary also expressed worry over the gradual rise in the cost of cylinders over the years, maintaining that all the raw materials used by the two cylinder manufacturing plants in the country were imported.
He said despite Nigeria’s over 180 million population, the country barely had up to 10 million cylinders in circulation amid substandard cylinders in circulation.
“The cylinder ownership structure in the country ensures that owners are in charge of their cylinders. Cylinders expire on the 15th year of usage from the manufacturing date. Because of the high replacement cost, consumers buy what they can afford. This has equally encouraged the proliferation of substandard cylinders in circulation.
The regulators are working hard to monitor the standard of cylinders coming into the country.“The progress in cylinder acquisition still needs government input to ensure that the cost of materials for cylinder production get the necessary exemption from duties but however the state of our local currency still remains a major problem.”