Forex scarcity blamed for cooking gas price hike

lpg-gas-cooking

The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has blamed foreign exchange scarcity for the current high price of domestic gas.

Its Executive Secretary, Bassey Essein, said on Wednesday in Lagos that the current high price was arbitrary.

Essien said that sourcing foreign exchange during the festivities posed a serious challenge to marketers to buy LPG from gas off-takers.

He said that although the product was being sourced locally, but marketers were paying international rates to buy it and this had posed serious challenges to marketers.

Essien said there was no justification for the current high price for a product produced locally.

The marketer said it was unreasonable to charge dollar rates for a product that was being produced locally and transported from Bonny Terminal to marketers.

He said that marketers had condemned the practice and even complained but to no avail.

Essien appealed to Federal Government to urgently look into the frequent price changes from the manufacturers.

He also appealed that preference should be given to local market in the supply chain.

“Inability to get adequate product from the manufacturers during the festivities contributed to the price hike.

“Only few trucks discharged LPG at the Apapa Terminal during the Christmas and New Year break,” he said.

Essien said that a truck of gas, which usually sold at N 4.3 million per 20 metric tons, was sold for N6 million per 20 metric tons during the Christmas period.

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He said that this price increase at the terminal impacted negatively at the retail end where a 12.5kg cylinder, formally sold for between N3,000 and N3,200, went up to N4,500.

Alhaji Auwalu Ilu, a LPG marketer also said that the price hike could be linked to the winter season abroad.

“We are approaching winter now and the international price is going up, which is the usually the case.

“It’s usually high during this period because we are bound by the international price.

“It is pricing problem; it’s usually on the increase on daily basis. The demand is higher during winter in Europe and America since gas is used to heat,” he said.

Some users have condemned the sudden hike in price of cooking gas

The price of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder, which was between N3,200 and N3,500, suddenly went up to between N4,300 and N4,500 during the yuletide.

The Chairman of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR), Chika Umudu, said that his members spent days at LPG plants to get supplies.

Umudu said that the price hike was unfortunate at this time when many Nigerians had adopted the use of the cleaner energy

A retailer in Lagos, Julius Godwin, said that the business of selling cooking gas was no longer profitable.

“I am still selling the product to earn a living as the profit margin is low,” he said.

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On the average, retailers in Lagos have increased the price by over 15 per cent.

Another gas retailer at Oyingbo market, Toyin Ashimiyu, said that the price of the product was outrageous considering the current situation in the country.

A housewife, Toyin Ashimiyu, said that the increase in price was an additional hardship to many families.

“I used to buy the 12.5kg between N 3,300 and N3,500 and it lasts for three weeks or even up to one month.

“I was surprised when I was told that the price had gone up to N4,500,” she said.

Johnson said it was unfortunate that prices of products kept increasing on daily basis.

Another user, Folake Adeshina, said that the 12.5kg, which sold for N3,200 before the festivities, had risen to N4,300.

Adeshina appealed to the Federal Government and marketers to urgently find lasting solution to the price hike.

She said that the price hike was unfortunate at this period when many housewives were trying to adopt cooking because it is cleaner, cheaper and healthier for homes.