Hours after reports that the price of liquified natural gas, also known as cooking gas, will increase in the coming days, the retail price of the commodity has risen to N800 per kilogram, BusinessDay findings have shown.
Stakeholders in the entire value chain have confirmed the increment, citing rising international prices, high tax rates and prices of vessels, forex scarcity, and naira devaluation.
“I bought 13kg of gas for N8,950 sometime last week and now the same quantity is going for N10,400. It’s becoming unbearable,” Osuji Chidinma, a businesswoman living in the Iyana Iba area of Lagos said.
The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) early Thursday told consumers to brace up for tougher times as it projected a price hike of the commodity starting next week.
“As I am talking to you, I can confirm that the price of cooking gas has gone up,” Olatunbosun Oladapo, President of the Association told BusinessDay on Thursday evening.
However, the president refused to state the amount its members are buying the product from the source.
Stoke energy Gas and Lite Gas, both wholesalers situated at Ijora axis, said on Thursday that they now supply to retailers at N620 per KG.
“Before today, we sell gas to our customers between the range of N550 – N600 but now, our suppliers said there has been a hike in price because of dollar scarcity. So, we had to adjust out own prices too,” they said.
The Nigerian naira fell further today to a record low of N950 per dollar at the parallel market, as the gap between the official and black markets resurface.
The currency of Africa’s biggest economy has come under pressure since the CBN floated the currency in June.
Oladapa said the price increment is unfortunate, and that consumers, middlemen, and retailers are feeling the impact because business is now on the low side amid a decline in purchasing power.
“The situation is very unfortunate because prices are going higher and Nigerian consumers are passing through very difficult times because they can no longer afford gas.
“They (consumers) are beginning to depend on firewood, charcoal, and sawdust for cooking,” he said.
The president called on the government to appoint the minister that will be in charge of the sector to see through the ongoing situation, alleviate the suffering of the masses by providing palliatives, reducing taxes and levies.
In addition, Oladapo said Nigeria LNG would have to look at catering for domestic needs above exportation to cushion the effects on the masses while also urging marketers who had the opportunity to buy products locally to fix prices with consumers’ sympathy in mind.