Gas retailers have warned that the price of 12.5kg cooking gas may hit N18,000 by December if the Federal Government does not restrict the activities of the terminal owners.
The President, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Olatunbosun Oladapo, on Sunday confirmed that the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas also known as cooking gas has “gone astronomically high at terminals as a result of a sudden increment from between N9-N10m per 20 metric tons to N14m per 20 metric tons.
“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, price could reach as high as N18m per metric tons by December. This means that a 12.5kg could go as high as N18,000.”
According to him, terminal owners were “hiding under the guise of high foreign exchange to increase price to further increase the suffering of the masses.”
Olatunbosun said there was no justification for the increment, as the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited still supplied the market.
He said, “NNPCL currently takes 59 per cent of the gas produced by NLNG, although NLNG has also increased its price from N6m to N8m. Now, because NLNG has increased price, NNPCL and terminal owners have increased price to N14m.
“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 privatised 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.”
He added, “Now, the ordinary man would not be able to buy gas. How many minimum wage earners can afford gas now? Everyone is turning to firewood and charcoal. The surprising thing was that they visited President Tinubu last week, and promised to work together with his administration to make life better. Now they have come back and started doing something else. Where are all the palliatives and busses they promised to donate? We have not seen anything.”
There were report of an intended hike in cooking gas prices in the month of August. Prices had since shot up, with 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas going as high as high as N10,000.
Although gas terminal owners did not have a visible association, spokespersons for NavGas, Friday Agwu, and Nipco Plc’s Askay Kumar, blamed the hike on forex and the international market.
“No one is selling at N1,200/kg. I have not heard such high price yet,” Kumar added via a telephone conversation on Sunday. He however declined to respond when asked how much the landing cost was.
Friday blamed the price on forex and raise in price of crude oil at the international market.