How new 100% cooking gas price causes anguish among Nigerians

By Gideon Adonai

The price of cooking gas rose by 100% on August 30th. The cost of a 12.5kg of cooking gas
which sold for about ₦3,500.00 in December 2020 has jumped to as high as ₦6,800.00 in
parts of Abuja, Lagos, ₦7,200.00.
The Federal Government recently implemented a 7.5 percent tax on imported Liquefied
Petroleum Gas, popularly called cooking gas, as the cost of the commodity leap by over 100 percent within a period of eight months.

A resident along the Lagos-Ibadan road said she bought the commodity on Sunday at
₦7,200 in Lagos, as dealers projected that the cost might hit ₦10,000 in December this year.

A new investigation by AF24news shows how new cooking gas price causes anguish among
Nigerians, with many abandoning their gas cooker for charcoal fire, while the consumption ofsome families reduced drastically.

Mr Ifeanyi Eze, a local retailer of cooking gas who spoke with our correspondent at
Ojuelegba lamented a sharp drop in patronage, which he attributed to the hike.
According to Eze, prices have changed at least four times, this year alone.
Mr Eze said: " The new price is really affecting people. And it is affecting my business too.

For instance, people who buy up to 6kg before now buy 3kg and people who used to buy
3kg now buy 1kg, sometimes, they just buy ₦700.00 worth of gas and never come back till
after some weeks." Talking about whether gas cylinders do well in sales, Mr Eze said, people are not buying and lack of patronage ties his own money down too.

“I have many cylinders as you can see. I'm Evin selling at old rates after the price of dollar went up and the price changed in the market. But they are still not buying,” Eze said, looking with frustration.”

At Mushin, Palm Avenue area, a woman who identified herself as Iya Sade told AF24news
that she has stopped using cooking gas. She said she now uses charcoal and so do her
neighbours in the compound.

Speaking in Yoruba, Iya Sade said "Using gas to cook now is too expensive. I cannot try it.

Gas of ₦1,000 cannot cook our weekend food. “When you are supposed to cook soup, make stew and cook beans, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

“Now that schools have not yet resumed, if a child turns on your gas to cook noodles before you return from the market; and you have no alternative, you'll understand the real meaning of what is going on.”

Iya Sade who is both a trader and seamstress said she does find things easy at all.
Another respondent, Mrs Sabitu said she has no alternative. Even as gas is expensive, all
she can do is to still buy because there is no alternative yet.
*Cooking gas price goes up about every time I go to refill,”says Sabitu.

“All I do is to keep adding to it. That’s not because I can always afford it. It’s because there is no alternative.You cannot say because petrol or diesel is expensive, then you won't use your cars,” Mrs Sabitu illustrated.

The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) says naira
devaluation and huge supply gap caused the surge in cooking gas prices.
Bassey Essien, executive secretary of NALPGAM, made this known in a communique
obtained by AF24news.

He said Nigerians consumed over one million metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas in
2020, with only about 40 per cent supplied by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company
(NLNG).

READ ALSO: Importation tax: Cooking gas price rises by 100%

“At the end of the day, this increment translates to the ordinary consumers because the
people selling the product have to make a profit,” he said.
“We think the way forward is for government to direct all local gas producers to send the
product first to the domestic market to meet the local demand. That is what we call the full
domestication of every molecule of gas produced in Nigeria.

“If we are able to do this, we won’t be having this problem, and more Nigerians will be
encouraged to embrace using gas in their homes”
Essien also said the association plans to distribute 5,000 6kg cylinders with burners to
Nigerians free of charge before the end of the year to deepen gas penetration in the country.

He said it is also in line with the ‘Decade of Gas Development initiative’ of the federal
government.
Essien said that unclean cooking energy causes adverse effects on the climate and
accounts for respiratory tract diseases and deaths, particularly among women and children.

“In the past few years, we have distributed over 10,000 free cylinders to Nigerians. However,
in 2020, almost every business was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we had
to hold on a bit to see what was going on,” he said.
“For this year, we intend to continue the programme, and we are looking at close to 5,000
cylinders.

“We have done it in Lagos and other places before, so, for now, we are looking at going
towards the eastern part such as the suburbs of Enugu or Anambra states. We have not
finalised the plan, but we are working towards it.”

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