The price of cooking gas per kilogramme now stands between N1,000 and N1,200 across the country.
There are concerns that the price of cooking gas may rise due to the scarcity of the product, which marketers are attributing to supply disruption.
The president of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALGAM), Oladapo Olatunbosun who spoke with Daily Trust on the development called on the federal government to be proactive in checking the price increase.
He blamed the scarcity of gas in some parts of Lagos on supply disruption, saying the vessel that was supposed to offload in the state had not done so.
Olatunbosun said, “Information at our disposal reveals that Nigerians are facing hard times getting the product.”
He warned that the price of 12.5kg of cooking gas might soon hit N18,000 if the federal government failed to check the rising cost.
He said the volume marketers used to buy for N8 million is now sold for N14.5 million.
Olatunbosun said, “Go to the North and the Far East and see what people are facing. In some places, they are buying at N1,300 per kg because the cost of buying at the terminal has gone up at a very high rate. As of today, terminals are selling for N14.5 million what used to be about N8 million and N8.5 million.
“The supply has also been somehow epileptic. The vessel from NLNG went to Port Harcourt twice and that is the reason why there is a delay in Lagos. The vessel came back to Lagos two days ago. They just offloaded it and the quantity it brought was not that substantial. We are expecting it back in about a week.
“So, we are using this opportunity to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, particularly the new Minister of Gas, to pay attention to LPG. LPG is a product that can serve all Nigerians, both the young and the old; everybody who needs gas.
“And for the fact that the fuel subsidy removal is biting hard on people, electricity is not regularly supplied, people do not have any other means to cook than gas; it is now becoming what they cannot afford and it therefore means our forest will suffer for it.
“So, we need to look into the supply, and what is the price that is coming to the market? What prices are they selling at? What is really behind the hiked price and what role can the government play? Is it the role of intermediaries? Is it the role of the middlemen? What is actually causing the high price?”
According to him, while some people blame the hike on the forex crisis, there is an element of profiteering in it.
He added, “This is where the government has to beam its searchlight and caution all the players and also have a regular meeting with the terminal operators and off-takers on how we can protect Nigerians.
“The poor Nigerians are suffering; gas is getting out of the reach of Nigerians and it is not making life easy for anybody.
“We are not happy about that. As businessmen, we are suffering the cost of buying and the cost of doing business has also gone up. And the product is not all that available.
“So, while the government is tackling regular supply, it also needs to work on the major suppliers, the off-takers, so that a little of profiteering should be downplayed now to protect the poor Nigerians so that gas can be affordable.”