Gas retailers have raised concerns that the price of a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder may surge to as high as N18,000 by December unless the Federal Government intervenes to curb the activities of terminal owners.
Olatunbosun Oladapo, the President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, expressed his concerns over the skyrocketing price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, which has seen a sudden increase from approximately N9-N10 million per 20 metric tons to N14 million per 20 metric tons at the terminals.
Retailers condemn gas terminal owners
Oladapo criticized the terminal owners, accusing them of exploiting high foreign exchange rates as an excuse to increase gas prices, causing more hardship for the public.
He emphasized that without government intervention, the price could reach as high as N18 million per metric ton by December, leading to a 12.5kg cylinder being sold for N18,000.
He argued that the price hike was unjustified, as the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) continued to supply the market with gas.
According to him, the NLNG price increase, from N6 million to N8 million, has prompted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and terminal owners to follow suit, raising prices to N14 million.
Oladapo lamented that this price increase was beyond the control of retailers and placed the blame squarely on NLNG and terminal owners.
He pointed out that last week, the price of 1kg of gas at the terminal was N800, but it has now risen to N1,200 and could reach N1,500 by December if the situation is not addressed.
He also highlighted the economic challenges this posed to minimum wage earners and the resurgence of firewood and charcoal usage as alternatives to cooking gas.
Oladapo raised questions about promises made by terminal owners to work together with the government to improve the lives of citizens, emphasizing that little had been seen in terms of palliatives and donations.
The increase in cooking gas prices had previously been reported in August, with 12.5kg cylinder prices reaching as high as N10,000.
Although gas terminal owners do not have a visible association, representatives of NavGas and Nipco Plc attributed the price hike to forex challenges and rising international crude oil prices.
However, one of the spokespersons declined to comment on the landing cost.