The average retail price consumers pay to purchase Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas has risen to its highest levels on record.
The price of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas surged by 26 percent in two weeks to N15,000 from N11,850 owing to high global crude oil and gas prices and Nigeria’s forex crises. It indicates that a kg of gas now sells at N1,200 from N950.
This recent surge will further squeeze cash-strapped consumers, erode their purchasing ability and amplify a cost of living crisis in Africa’s most populous nation. It will also accelerate October inflation when the figures are released.
Read also: Cooking gas hits N1,000/kg, scarcity looms
“It is getting difficult daily for Nigerians, especially with the recent petrol subsidy removal and naira float,” Demola Balogun, a mechanic at Ketu, Lagos said.
“Everyday prices keep surging and now it is cooking gas. We don’t know if the price surge will even come to an end,” he said.
According to him, survival is now a daily struggle for millions of Nigerians and if the government fails to stabilize gas prices, a large chunk of the population will return to using firewood for cooking, reversing the progress the country has made in moving towards clean energy.
Yemi Badejo, a tailor at Ketu Market, said she bought two kg of cook gas at Ketu for N1,000 last two weeks but now sells for N1,100.
“I don’t know when Nigerians will experience some relief. The situation has been like this for the past five years and we all just keep managing,” she said.
She stated that relocating out of the country is the only option for her right now as things keep getting worse in the country. “I intend travelling abroad because it doesn’t look like things will improve here.”
Nigeria’s inflation at 25.8 percent in August is far outpacing wage growth, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, with several analysts projecting a higher double-digit rate in coming months.
Real wages, which reflect the power of employee pay after accounting for inflation, have fallen in Nigeria by 200 percent, thus making Nigerians face increasing pressures daily and forcing them to make hard choices as prices of all products continue to rise.
For lower-income households with little or no cash cushion, they are making harder choices such as what to buy or not, experts say.
Read also: Niger bans cooking gas exports to Nigeria
Sixty-three (63) percent of Nigerians – 133 million Nigerians – are multidimensionally poor – meaning that two in three people are poor and experience just over one-quarter of deprivation such as health, the standard of living, and work, according to a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The World Bank, in its latest Nigeria Development Update report for June 2023, said the loss of purchasing power from high inflation has increased poverty in the short term, pushing an estimated four million Nigerians into poverty between January – May 2023.
The global bank estimates based on the NBS data show that 89.8 million Nigerians fell below the poverty line at the start of 2023, with an additional four million making it 93.8 million in May of 2023.