As cooking gas prices soar to N1,200 per kilogram in parts of Nigeria, concerns mount over the affordability and availability of this essential household resource. The spike in prices is attributed to various factors, including supply disruptions, transportation costs, and currency weaknesses, affecting consumers across the nation.
Reports from Daily Trust indicate that 12.5 kilograms of cooking gas are now being sold for N12,000 at some retail stations, with a per-kilogram rate ranging from N1,000 to N1,200 in locations such as Mowe, Ibafo, and Magboro along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The situation has led many households to consider alternative cooking methods, such as charcoal, to cope with the escalating costs.
Amid this price surge, many Nigerians are feeling the pinch as they are forced to cut back on their cooking gas consumption. Families and businesses are grappling with the consequences of these inflated prices, with restaurant owners like Chef Maya expressing concerns about menu price increases and the potential loss of loyal customers.
Marketers have voiced their concerns, attributing the gas price hike to a combination of factors, including supply disruptions and high transportation costs, partly due to expensive diesel prices. The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALGAM) President, Oladapo Olatunbosun, has called on the federal government to address the issue and warned that the price of a 12.5kg cylinder might soon hit N18,000 if immediate measures are not taken.
Consumers are left wondering whether the fluctuating exchange rate, limited storage facilities, and logistics issues are contributing to the increasing cost of cooking gas. The situation has left many households in a challenging position, unable to afford this vital energy source.
Furthermore, some experts speculate that if this trend continues, more Nigerians may revert to using firewood for cooking, which could have adverse environmental impacts. Dr. Dauda Garuba, an oil and gas expert, emphasized that energy sources are a matter of national security and that government intervention is essential to protect consumers from soaring costs.
In response to the crisis, an official from the Office of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) explained that the cooking gas sector is deregulated, making it challenging for the government to control prices directly. However, the government is working in collaboration with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (NLNG) to enhance domestic supply and alleviate the price burden on consumers.
As Nigerians grapple with the escalating cost of cooking gas, the government’s efforts to increase supply and address market forces become crucial for ensuring that this essential resource remains affordable and accessible to all. The future of cooking gas prices in Nigeria hangs in the balance, with many hoping for a swift resolution to this growing concern.
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