Amid reports forecasting an increase in the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG), commonly known as cooking gas, retail prices have surged to N800 per kilogram, as revealed by BusinessDay’s investigations. Stakeholders across the value chain have acknowledged this price hike, attributing it to a combination of factors including escalating international prices, elevated tax rates, vessel costs, forex scarcity, and naira devaluation.
Consumers are grappling with the consequences of this surge, particularly in the context of their reduced purchasing power. Osuji Chidinma, a businesswoman from the Iyana Iba area of Lagos, voiced her concern, citing the tangible burden of the price surge. “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,” she shared.
The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has sounded an alert to consumers, indicating that they should brace for more challenging times due to an impending commodity price increase in the coming week.
Olatunbosun Oladapo, President of NALPGAM, confirmed the rise in cooking gas prices. However, he refrained from disclosing the exact source purchase price of the product for the association’s members.
Stoke Energy Gas and Lite Gas, wholesalers situated at the Ijora axis, have adjusted their supply prices to retailers in response to the price hike. They revealed that they now supply to retailers at N620 per KG, compared to their previous range of N550 to N600. The wholesalers explained that the price adjustment was prompted by dollar scarcity, leading to an increase in the source purchase price.
The Nigerian naira’s continued decline against the dollar has compounded the challenges. The currency reached a new low of N950 per dollar in the parallel market, further emphasizing the disparity between the official and black market rates. This depreciation follows the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to float the currency in June, which has impacted the naira’s stability.
Oladapo emphasized the unfortunate impact of the price increment on consumers, retailers, and middlemen. He highlighted how this rise in costs is compelling consumers to seek alternative cooking fuels such as firewood, charcoal, and sawdust. The president called on the government to take action by appointing a minister to oversee the sector, providing relief to the masses through palliatives, and reducing taxes and levies.
Furthermore, Oladapo stressed the need for Nigeria LNG to prioritize domestic needs over exportation to mitigate the effects on consumers. He urged marketers to consider consumers’ circumstances while determining prices, especially those who have the option to source products locally.
As cooking gas prices continue to climb, Nigerians are grappling with the dual challenges of increased costs and a decrease in purchasing power, underscoring the urgency of addressing the issues at hand.