Cooking gas price jumps 105% in 12 months
The price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, popularly known as cooking gas, in the last twelve months has increased by 105 per cent.
5kg which was sold for N2200 in August 2021 had increased to N4500 in August 2022.
This affirmed that the price of cooking gas with in that period had increased by 105 per cent.
The increase in the price of cooking gas has also affected other deregulated petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel.
The products within a year have also recorded significant spikes.
The price of kerosene which is widely used by Nigerians has increased to N800 per litre.
The price of diesel continues to maintain an all-time high of between N750 to N800.
According to the all items index of the latest Commodity Price Index (inflation report), the highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, followed by liquid fuel, solid fuel, garments, passenger transport by road, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing as well as passenger travel by air.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, an energy expert, Bala Zakka, blamed the sharp increase in the price of cooking gas on poor decision-making on the part of policy makers.
He said, “The reason is very simple and straightforward. The model the Nigerian leaders, in this case our economic and political leaders, are using for the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry is very wrong. It is a wrong model. That is the simple reason. The answers are not far-fetched. Why is cooking gas not this expensive and inaccessible in other OPEC member countries and other gas exporting fora (Gas Exporting Countries Forum)?
“From natural gas, you can always get cooking gas, by the time you treat it. When you refine crude oil, the first product that will come out is LPG. In all the OPEC member countries that produce crude oil and have functional refineries, they are not complaining about cooking gas. It’s not part of their problem. The only countries that are complaining today are countries that do not have oil and gas.”
According to him, under ideal circumstances, the price of a kilo of cooking gas in Nigeria should not exceed N100, as was obtainable in other countries with abundance of oil and gas deposits.
“In Nigeria, the government does not believe that it is supposed to provide goods and services to the people at a reasonable rate. The government inserted a clause in the Petroleum Industry Bill that they want to deregulate. How can you deregulate the price of a sensitive product like refined petroleum products? How can you deregulate the price of products that do not have substitutes? Had it been cooking gas or kerosene had alternatives, then people would not bother. Now, everybody is feeling the demonic effect of what deregulation is all about. The price of kerosene has been deregulated and we are seeing the consequence. The price of diesel is deregulated and we are seeing the consequence on strategic industrial and commercial sectors.”
Also speaking, an Associate Professor of Economics at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Olalekan Aworinde, said the continuous increase in the price of cooking gas would push the product, which is a basic necessity, beyond the reach of many. He added that the resultant effect would be increased poverty across the country.
Aworinde said, “If you look at it critically, for people who run restaurants, their cost of production would have increased because they use gas to cook. So, they are likely going to reduce the quality and the quantity of the food that they serve people, and that tells you that the standard of living is likely going to drop. We are also likely going to see a higher level of poverty. You discover that people that were managing to buy cooking gas may not be able to afford it, and at the end of the day, some are likely going to go back to old norms. Using kerosene is not cheap right now.”