Cooking Gas Prices Drop by 30% in Nigeria, Offering Relief to Cash-Strapped Households
In a surprising turn of events, the cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has witnessed a significant decline for the first time in a year. The drop in prices, attributed to lower crude oil prices and a decline in global gas prices, has brought a brief respite to households burdened by escalating inflation and recent fuel price hikes resulting from subsidy removal.
According to a recent survey conducted across major Nigerian cities, the price of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas has plummeted by 30%, currently standing at N7,000 compared to N10,000 just two months ago. This unexpected development brings relief to many cash-strapped households grappling with rising living costs and dwindling purchasing power.
Mary Chukwu, a food vendor at Ketu bus stop, expressed her gratitude, stating, “The recent drop in the prices of cooking gas is a big relief for low-income households like mine. Prices of everything are just going up, and this is the only drop we have seen in the last two years.” Chukwu further noted that the decline in cooking gas prices has helped cushion the impact of the recent surge in fuel prices, which would otherwise have inflicted a more significant shock on consumers.
The positive trend in cooking gas prices was met with enthusiasm by Abosede Ademola, a food vendor at Mile 12 Market, who shared, “I was really happy when he [supplier] told me because every time I ask him to supply me, he only tells me the price has increased. You know prices keep going up daily. You can’t even go to the market with a specific amount and be sure of what you will buy with it because of the constant price surge, so this is a big relief for us.”
Nigeria has been grappling with accelerating inflation and diminishing household incomes, eroding consumers’ purchasing power. In April, Nigeria’s inflation reached 22.22%, the highest in 17 years, surpassing wage growth significantly. Rising food prices, which have soared by 150%, and escalating costs of fuel and diesel, surging by 174.6% and 160% respectively year-on-year, have further exacerbated the situation. Analysts attribute over 90% of Nigeria’s core inflation to the surge in food prices, as the majority of the working population allocates 60% of their income to food and related expenses.
The impact of surging food prices is reflected in the alarming statistics, with household consumption expenditure increasing by 12% to N27.3 trillion in the first half of 2022, the highest in five years, compared to N25.3 trillion in the corresponding period of 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The dire economic conditions have pushed 63% of Nigeria’s population, equivalent to 133 million people, into multidimensional poverty, making any form of price drop a significant development for consumers.
Amarachi Amos, a mother of two who was present at Ketu Market in Lagos to make a purchase, expressed the hardship faced by Nigerians, stating, “It is really hard in the country, and any form of drop is a big deal for consumers right now. This will ease our suffering, especially for fixed-income earners.”
The unexpected decline in cooking gas prices comes as a ray of hope for Nigerian households battling the increasing cost of living. While challenges persist, this temporary respite offers a much-needed breather and an opportunity to mitigate the impact of rising prices, albeit momentarily.
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