It is no longer news that the price of cooking gas in Nigeria over the past weeks suddenly increased without prior warning! Some Nigerians have opined that the price increase is due to scarcity of gas.
The amount reportedly moved from N2,700 to about N4,000 and N4,200 for a 12.5 kilogramme cylinder in Lagos and its environs.
Owing to this, the NLNG General Manager, External Relations, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke has declared that rather than scarcity, it is some infrastructure bottlenecks that are the real reason behind the rising cost of cooking gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) nationwide.
Eresia-Eke explained that three factors namely; shortage of terminals for the discharge of gas in the country, storage facilities at the terminals as well as delays in getting the product from the terminals, have resulted in increase of the price.
The general manager stated that only two terminals were dedicated for the supply of LPG in Nigeria.
According to him, the terminals, which are based in Lagos, are NAFGAS Terminal and the Northern Oil Jetty (NOJ), which is being managed by the Products and Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC) on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He asserted that the terminals are not only limited, but were made to give priority to supply of white products such as petrol, diesel and kerosene and this has made it difficult for LPG vessels to discharge its content promptly enough.
Other problems, according to him, are lack of adequate facilities for storage of LPG at the terminals and delays in accessing the product from the terminals.
He stressed that the decision by the Federal Government, to give the terminals priority to discharge white products first, is affecting gas supply.
Eresia-Eke who noted that NLNG has increased domestic supply of LPG from 150,000 metric tonnes (mt) annually to 250,000 metric tonnes annually in recent times said this attests to the fact that NLNG has the capacity to meet LPG consumption requirement in the country.
He however urged stakeholders including the government, to expedite actions on measures that would enable consumers to get the product regularly.
The National Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), had in May, 2016, raised concerns over what it described as astronomical increase in the price of cooking gas.
The association’s Chairman, Bassey said the money paid on demurrage and other costs incurred by the operators have increased, thereby making it difficult for them to get the product and this he noted has reportedly compelled marketers to increase the price above what they used to sell the product.