By Solomon Asowata
The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Distributors (NALPGAM) says the federal government alone cannot stop the rise in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) across Nigeria.
Essien denounced the increase in the price of LPG, also known as cooking gas in recent months, noting that there was a need to put in place a policy that would encourage the full domestication of LPG.
He said: “The main problem we have with the price of gas is that the majority of what we consume is imported.
“Over one million metric tonnes of gas were consumed by Nigerians in 2020 and around 65 percent of the product was imported by traders.
“The price of gas is therefore affected by what happens in the world market because, although Nigeria produces around four million metric tonnes of gas per year, only 350,000 tonnes are allocated to the domestic market.
“Unfortunately, the government cannot increase the allocation to meet all of our domestic demand without the membership of other NLNG partners.”
Essien said the rise in the price of cooking gas was affecting the government’s National Gas Expansion Program, which aimed to step up gas use in Nigeria.
He noted that some LPG users were gradually reverting to the use of kerosene and firewood with obvious health implications.
Marketers generally believe that it is not possible for the government to unilaterally order the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited (NLNG) to increase its national LPG allocation without the support of other stakeholders.
Experts believe that a significant increase in domestic LPG allocation would result in a reduction in the price of gas compared to the current spike in the price of the essential commodity.
NAN reports that the NLNG is a joint venture formed by four shareholders.
These are the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (49%) Shell Gas BV (25.6%) Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%) and Eni International NANVSàr.l (10 , 4%) cent).
Indeed, many ordinary Nigerians are distressed by the effect of soaring cooking gas prices.
For example, a food vendor, Ms Iyabo Oni, told NAN that the increase in the price of cooking gas was negatively affecting her business.
“I started using firewood to support my cooking because gas is so expensive and customers will complain if you increase the cost of your food.
“The challenge is that the process is more difficult for me because I like that my restaurant is always neat,” she said.
In addition, Mr. Okechukwu Agwu, a banker and a bachelor, said he prefers to buy food now because of the increase.
He said, “I used to fill my little camp gas with less N2,000 but things have gone up, so I’m just buying food to eat now. I think it’s cheaper and less stressful for me.
NAN reports that the price of a 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder has dropped from N3,300 in December 2020 to around N5,000 at outlets in recent weeks. (NOPE)
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