Cooking gas price has increased between N1,000 and N1,200 per kg across the country.
There are fears that the price of cooking gas may rise due to scarcity, which marketers attribute to supply interruption.
Oladapo Olatunbosun, president of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALGAM), who spoke on the development, urged the federal government to check the price increase proactively.
He blamed the scarcity of gas in some sections of Lagos on supply disruption, claiming that the tanker scheduled to offload in the state had not done so.
He said; “Information at our disposal reveals that Nigerians are facing hard times getting the product.”
He cautioned that if the federal government does not intervene, the price of 12.5kg of cooking gas might soon reach N18,000.
He claims that the volume marketers used to purchase for N8 million is now being sold for N14.5 million.
Speaking further, Olatunbosun said “Go to the North and the Far East and see what people are facing. In some places, they are buying at N1,300 per kg because the cost of buying at the terminal has risen very high.
As of today, terminals are selling for N14.5 million, what used to be about N8 million and N8.5 million.
“The supply has also been somehow epileptic. The vessel from NLNG went to Port Harcourt twice, which is why there is a delay in Lagos.
The vessel came back to Lagos two days ago.
They just offloaded it, and the quantity it brought was not that substantial. We are expecting it back in about a week.
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“So, we are using this opportunity to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, particularly the new Minister of Gas, to pay attention to LPG. LPG is a product that can serve all Nigerians, both the young and the old; everybody who needs gas.
“And for the fact that the fuel subsidy removal is biting hard on people, electricity is not regularly supplied, people do not have any other means to cook than gas; it is now becoming what they cannot afford and it therefore means our forest will suffer for it.”
“So, we need to look into the supply, and what is the price that is coming to the market? What prices are they selling at? What is really behind the hiked price and what role can the government play? Is it the role of intermediaries? Is it the role of the middlemen? What is actually causing the high price?”
According to him, while some people blame the hike on the forex crisis, there is an element of profiteering in it.”
He added, “This is where the government has to beam its searchlight and caution all the players and also have a regular meeting with the terminal operators and off-takers on how we can protect Nigerians.
“The poor Nigerians are suffering; gas is getting out of the reach of Nigerians, and it is not making life easy for anybody.
“We are not happy about that. As businessmen, we are suffering the cost of buying, and the cost of doing business has also gone up. And the product is not all that available.
“So, while the government is tackling regular supply, it also needs to work on the major suppliers, the off-takers, so that a little of profiteering should be downplayed now to protect the poor Nigerians so that gas can be affordable.”