Price Of Cooking Gas May Drop Across Nigeria

Byadulawo

Jun 3, 2024

The price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, is significantly decreasing, providing much-needed relief to consumers in several states, including Ogun, Lagos, and Oyo.

Recent interactions with consumers revealed to Punch that the current average cost of 1 kilogram of cooking gas is around N1,000 or below, depending on the location and seller.

This decrease is a stark contrast to the prices observed between February and March when the cost of LPG had soared to around ₦1,300 per kilogram in some areas.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the price of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas had increased by 46.88% over one year, reaching ₦15,060.38 in February 2024 compared to ₦10,253.39 in February 2023.

The NBS further noted that the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of LPG rose by 28.33% within just one month — from ₦11,735.72 in January 2024 to ₦15,060.38 in February 2024.

Among the states, Ogun recorded the highest average retail price at ₦16,375, closely followed by Delta at ₦16,333, and Edo at ₦16,321.

However, recent checks indicate that prices are gradually decreasing nationwide, which some attribute to the rebound of the naira in April from about ₦1,900 per dollar to about ₦1,500 currently.

While the Federal Government has committed to taking further measures to reduce the domestic price of LPG, industry operators express concerns that prices may rise again.

Speaking to Punch, Adedokun Ojo, a resident of Abule Egba in Lagos, reported purchasing 1kg of LPG at ₦940 at a local Mobil station.

“LPG is now ₦940 per kg. I still bought it yesterday evening at Mobil in Abule Egba,” Ojo said.

Also, a resident of Enugu, Uzor Nneka, disclosed that she got a kilogramme of the gas for ₦1,000 at the Romchi plant in Enugu.

“1kg of cooking gas used to be ₦1,300 before, but now it is ₦1,050. The price is coming down,” Jonathan Igbowu, a resident of the Idiroko border community of Ogun State, revealed

It was observed that the prices are different in Idiroko based on the seller. Nojim Ajani stated that 1kg of LPG was ₦750 in the Aferiku area of the town lately.

One Mr Ibrahim Ogunleye mentioned that the product sold for ₦1,200 in Offa, Kwara State, saying it used to be ₦1,400 some weeks ago.

Similarly, Mr Quadri Yusuf, who lives at Idi-Aba, Abeokuta, said the price of cooking gas is now ₦800/kg, down ₦1,200 in April.

However, Muraina Akintunde in Ayetoro regretted that LPG sellers now charge ₦1,200/kg in the area, stating that it used to be ₦1,400 until the last week of May.

In Ilaro, Folake Ogunwemimo said a kilogramme of LPG costs ₦1,100, while Kazim Ajose bought it for N970 at Sango-Ota, Ogun State.

Speaking on the development, the Minister of Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, said the reduction in the price of LPG was a result of the efforts being made by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (Gas) with the full support of relevant regulatory agencies in the sector and even operators to increase the volume of domestically produced cooking gas coming into the local market.

Ekpo, who spoke through his media aide, Louis Ibah, said the domestication of LPG export has reduced the dependence on imported LPG, and of course, its attendant added costs due to foreign exchange fluctuations.

He said, “You will recall that the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr. Ekperikpe Ekpo, some months back had ordered the domestication of all LPG produced within the country with the target of stabilising the price of cooking gas in the domestic market for consumers.

“So, the reduction in the price of LPG being witnessed is as a result of the efforts being made by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources (Gas) with the full support of relevant regulatory agencies in the sector and even Operators to increase the volume of domestically produced LPG/cooking gas coming into the local market.

“This has reduced the dependence on imported LPG, and of course, its attendant added costs due to FOREX fluctuations.

“And you also must recall and note the positive impact that the federal government’s decision to waive VAT and Customs duties on gas and gas equipment must have had on the price of LPG.”

He stressed that the minister has “assured that prices will go down further in the months ahead as more volumes of LPG domestically produced is released into the domestic market,” saying he is working round the clock with his team to achieve this.

However, the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers expressed concerns that the price of LPG may surge again in the coming weeks.

The Executive Secretary of NALPGAM, Bassey Essien, revealed that the reduction occasioned by the naira rebound was being eroded because gas is priced in dollars.

According to Essien, even if the Federal Government boosts local LPG production, the price will not be stable because gas producers sell in foreign currency.

“I won’t say it has come down, because it is going up again. And it is an interplay of the foreign exchange. Everything is priced in foreign exchange, very soon even the air we breathe will be priced in foreign exchange.

“Even the LNG that a domestic gas, how do they price it? It is still being priced at the international price, and the international price is dependent on the dollar. Whether you have it in abundance or not, it is still being sold at the international price. The bottom line is everything is priced in forex,” Essien said, asking the government to look into local pricing of gas.”

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