One Month After FG’s Intervention Consumers Still Buy Cooking Gas Above N1,100/kg

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LAGOS JANUARY 5TH (NEWSRANGERS)-One month after the federal government promised to crash the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, households and businesses are still paying high prices for every kilogram of the commodity. 

This is because the price has remained on the high side, as investigation by Daily Trust revealed that not much has been achieved in making it affordable.

Recall that on Sunday, November 26, 2023, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, responding to the outcry of Nigerians, announced the federal government’s resolve to immediately bring down the price of gas, make it available and affordable for Nigerians. 

According to Ekpo’s spokesman, Louis Ibah, the intervention followed the rise in the price, which was increasingly becoming beyond the reach of many citizens.

Our correspondent reports that the price rose above N1,200 per kg in some states in November last year. Ibah, in the statement, said key challenges identified as responsible for LPG price increase include challenges sourcing forex for imports and insufficient supply to the domestic market by producers.

When the issue was raised at a recent meeting held at the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), top officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited led by Sansay Narasimi; Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) led by its Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed and some NNPCL officials, among others, were in attendance.

Ekpo expressed the concerns of President Bola Tinubu over the astronomical increase in the price and the attendant hardship on the majority of citizens.

The minister, who noted that Nigeria is abundantly endowed with gas reserves, said the situation whereby some of the multinational firms were more concerned with gas exports without dedicating huge volumes for the domestic market was unacceptable and should be discouraged.

“With the exponential increase in the price of LPG, there is the need for the federal government to intervene and I am representing this at this moment,” he had said.

The minister of state in charge of gas thereafter constituted a committee headed by the NMDPRA boss with a mandate to come up with recommendations on how to boost supplies and crash LPG prices within a week.

Following the constitution of the committee, the federal government granted value added tax (VAT) and import duty waivers to gas producers as part of measures to reduce the price.

One of our correspondents, however, learnt that despite the measures, the price has remained on the increase as a 12kg of cooking gas is still selling at between N11,000 and N12, 500 in different parts of Nigeria.

Years back, millions of middle-income Nigerians used kerosene for cooking at home, but with the removal of subsidy on the commodity in 2016, they were forced to shift preference to cooking gas.

Beyond households, owners of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) such as tailors, grinding machine owners, pastries operators, bakers, restaurateurs, tea and noodle vendors, among others, currently rely heavily on cooking gas to power their businesses.

The demand for cooking also increased shortly after May 29, 2023, when President Tinubu announced removal of fuel subsidy.

Days after the removal, many Nigerians who relied on power generating sets removed the carburetors and replaced them with the one that works with cooking gas, which they said was much cheaper compared to petrol.

This happened in many homes and business premises, markets and malls.

But those interviewed said the shift in attention to gas, apart from other factors, also made the commodity more expensive.

Dailytrust

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Posted by on Jan 5 2024. Filed under Business, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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