Olatunbosun Oladapo, the President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, expressed concerns over the sharp rise in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, which has surged from around N9-N10 million per 20 metric tons to N14 million per 20 metric tons at terminals.
Oladapo stated, "There is a ridiculous hike in gas prices going on right now, and I am afraid that if the Federal Government does not step in to checkmate the activities of these terminal owners, prices could reach as high as N18 million per metric ton by December. This means that a 12.5kg cylinder could cost as much as N18,000."
He attributed the price increase to terminal owners who, he claimed, were exploiting the high foreign exchange rate to further burden the masses.
According to Oladapo, there is no justifiable reason for this surge, as the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) continues to supply the market. He explained, "NNPCL currently takes 59 percent of the gas produced by NLNG, although NLNG has also increased its price from N6 million to N8 million. Now, because NLNG has increased its price, NNPCL and terminal owners have also increased their prices to N14 million."
He continued, "The impending price increase is not the fault of retailers but the fault of NLNG and terminal owners. Even NNPCL is using privatization as an excuse to raise prices. Just last week, 1kg of gas at the terminal was N800, and now it is N1,200, with the potential to reach N1,500 by December if not addressed."
Oladapo expressed concern that such price hikes would make it difficult for the average person to afford cooking gas, leading to a shift back to firewood and charcoal. He also pointed out that despite promises made to President Tinubu's administration, these promises remained unfulfilled.
The surge in cooking gas prices has been on the rise since August, with a 12.5kg cylinder reaching as high as N10,000. While gas terminal owners attribute the increase to forex and international market dynamics, retailers are calling for government intervention to prevent further price hikes.