• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Cooking gas eluding the poor as prices surge over 100% in a year

The average price of getting cooking gas, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), has risen by over 100 percent over the prices recorded last year as low consumer purchasing power forces many to turn to dirtier fuels.

According to data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), refilling a 5kg cylinder stood at ₦4,397.68 in July, indicating a 122.15 percent increase from an average retail price of ₦2,141.59 in July 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, this translates to a 4.25 percent increase from an average retail price of ₦4,218.38 in June.

Speaking with BusinessDay, a National Youth Service Corps member serving in Delta state could not hold back her frustrations.

“The transport cost coupled with the rising cost of gas is frustrating,” Eke Ugonma said. “When I started serving last November, cooking gas was sold at N600 per kg at the gas plant. But now, the price rose by 37 percent to N820.”

Some students and Nigerians at large are looking for alternative options to cushion the effect of the hike.

Read also: Cydene Energy unveils mobile app for quick delivery of cooking gas

Vivian Chude, a psychology student at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University said most students do not use gas in school.

She said: “They use electric cookers, and mostly eat junk food due to the hike in the price of cooking gas.”

Felicia Egwuonwu, a resident in Lugbe, Abuja, said her family also has to cut the use of gas in her house.

“I bought 12.5kg of gas at ₦10,000 last week,” she said. “Because of this, we no longer use it to boil water.”

Analysts blame the high price of LPG on lack of infrastructure, the global shortfall in gas supply, inadequate local production, shortage of FOREX, devaluation of the naira, and logistic hitches.

“Foreign exchange escalation affects the price of LPG in Nigeria’s local market which is a downside of import dependency for a crucial product we have in abundance,” said Collins Obi, an energy specialist.

“If LPG is locally sourced the prices will come down and will be cheaper for Nigerians because the price in the international market varies and is higher at Nigerian depot.”

Some analysts say it is important for the government to find ways to improve local gas supply and transport infrastructure on land to aid its availability to Nigerians at a cheaper price.