BusinessDay

How rising cost of cooking gas hurts Nigerians

Retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LNG), popularly known as cooking gas, have decried another round of price hike as the price for refilling 12.5kg cylinder has more than doubled in one year.

Data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased by 121.2 percent to N9,486 in June 2022 from in the same period in 2021. On a month-on-month basis, it also rose by 8.7 percent from N8, 726 in May.

Also, the price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased year-on-year by 103.9 percent to N4, 218 in June 2022.On a month-on-month basis, it also rose by 7.6 percent.

Cash-strapped consumers dealing with the high cost of food and other necessities now have to grapple with the rising cost of cooking gas.

Bosu Opeyemi Gladys, a baker, says that the rise in the price of cooking gas has really affected her business badly.

“I transferred the cost of cooking gas to my products. The cake I usually sell at N3, 000 is now sold at N4,500, while the cakes I sell for N8, 000, are now sold at N10, 000,” she says.

Similarly, Antonia Adesina, a food vendor has moved to the use of charcoal, as the price of gas keeps rising. “I am not making as much profit as usual and I cannot keep increasing the price of the food I sell. So I had to seek other alternatives like charcoal.”

To survive, Nigerians are shifting to coal, sawdust and other dirty fuels which present consequences that affect human health. These options also contribute to global warming, as solid fuel burning releases large amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

Experts blame supply shortages, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our inability to exploit our gas reserves as reasons for the surge in cooking gas prices.

“Nigeria needs to smoothen the local distribution process across the country, as prices tend to vary as you move further away from the port and distribution point,” Chinedu Onyegbula, an energy sector expert and director, Bullox Resources Limited says.

“These products from the oil and gas refining process are not being subsidised, hence, dollar fluctuations, the Russia/Ukraine war, Nigeria’s inability to exploit its huge gas reserve and the fact that distribution and transportation cost locally is not cheap are affecting the price.”

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A breakdown of the NBS report shows that by states, Ekiti recorded the highest average retail price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas with N10, 502, followed by Jigawa with N10, 250 and Oyo with N10, 192.

The lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas was recorded in Yobe at N8, 050, followed by Katsina and Kano with N8,304 and N8,514 respectively.

On the other hand, Adamawa recorded the highest average price for refilling a 5kg Cylinder of cooking gas with N4, 650, followed by Gombe with N4, 567 and Niger with N4, 540.

However, for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas, Zamfara recorded the lowest average price with N3, 700, followed by Yobe and Kano with N3, 820 and N3, 875 respectively.

Furthermore, analysis by zone showed that the South-West recorded the highest average retail price of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas with N9, 986, followed by the South-South with N9, 921, while the North-East recorded the lowest price with N8,940.

Meanwhile, the North-Central recorded the highest average retail price for refilling a 5kg cylinder cooking gas with N4,379, followed by the North-East with N4,302, while the North-West recorded the lowest with N3,995.

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