By Daniel Edu
Olatunbosun Oladapo, the President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, expressed concern over the sharp increase in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, at the terminals. He cited a sudden rise from a range of N9-N10 million per 20 metric tons to N14 million per 20 metric tons as the primary driver of the price hike.
Oladapo warned, “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, prices could reach as high as N18 million per metric ton by December. This means that a 12.5kg cylinder could cost as much as N18,000.”
He accused terminal owners of exploiting the high foreign exchange rates as an excuse to increase prices, which would further burden the masses.
Oladapo clarified that there was no justification for the price increase since the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) continued to supply the market. He explained that the NLNG price had risen from N6 million to N8 million, prompting NNPCL and terminal owners to raise prices to N14 million.
He further stated, “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 privatized 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.”
Oladapo expressed concern that ordinary people would struggle to afford gas, leading them to resort to firewood and charcoal for cooking. He also criticized promises made by some stakeholders to improve the situation, citing a lack of progress.
While some industry spokespersons attributed the price increase to forex challenges and the international crude oil market, there were conflicting reports on the exact price levels and reasons behind the hike. Regardless, the warning of a potential further price increase highlights concerns about the affordability of cooking gas for the average consumer in Nigeria.