There appears to be no end in sight to the rising price of cooking gas in Nigeria as the festive season draws near, TREASURE UKA-MMADUBUKO writes
Nigerians, especially the low-income earners, are groaning under the weight of the persistent hike in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) in the country.
The price for filling a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder has risen from about N3,200 a year ago to as high as N10,000, more than a third of the country’s minimum wage of N30,000 per month.
The over 212 per cent increase in the price of cooking gas comes amid growing concerns over the rising prices of goods in the market despite the fall in inflation rate in recent months.
Prior to the significant price hike, the country had seen a surge in the demand for cooking gas as the government and operators in the LPG sector encouraged Nigerians to shift to the use of the commodity for clean and healthy cooking.
Many Nigerians have been forced to turn to charcoal and firewood on the back of the skyrocketing price of cooking gas. The incessant increase in cooking gas prices became more apparent after June this year.
There are now fears that the price of the commodity will rise further in the festive season, given the increased demand usually seen during the period.
A caterer in Lagos, Mrs Obianuju Maduike, who spoke with our correspondent, expressed deep concern over the soaring price of cooking gas in the country.
“The government should come to the aid of the people as it (the price hike) has really affected caterers, food vendors, and low-income earners,” she said.
In a report released in September 2021, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency said 60.95 per cent of domestic gas was sourced locally while 39.05 per cent was imported.
The depreciation of the naira against the dollar has been identified as one of the major factors responsible for the hike in cooking gas as the country relies on imports for about 40 per cent of the supply of the commodity.
Another caterer, Miss Hannah Pelumi, said in an interview that for her to be able to keep up with her business, she had to reduce the quantity of her products and increase the price because of the cooking gas price hike.
“Most times when I run out of gas, I substitute with coal due to the high cost of buying gas these days,” she added.
Many Nigerians have wondered how long the cooking gas price hike would continue and what measures had been taken by the government to salvage the situation.
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