…As a litre sells for N300, 12.5kg of gas N4,500
By Adewale Sanyaolu
Households across the country have been thrown into a major crisis as the two sources of energy for cooking have become scarce in the last one week, forcing families to resort to firewood, charcoal and other dirty sources of energy.
Daily Sun survey across some retail outlets and cooking gas plants in Lagos revealed that most of them have ran out of stock of the two essential commodities.
In the wake of the current scarcity, the price of cooking gas across major gas plants had risen from N3,500 for 12.5kg cylinder as at December to N4,500 for the same quantity.
The current scarcity of gas may not be unconnected with the use of vessel discharging terminals for dual purposes, a view that was corroborated by the President, Liquified Petroleum Gas Association of Nigeria (LPGAN), Mr. Dayo Adesina, who attributed the scarcity to the usage of LPG terminals for other purposes.
Further findings by Daily Sun revealed that majority of the major marketers may have suspended further importation of kerosene due to difficulty experienced in sourcing foreign exchange.
A marketer who confided in Daily Sun disclosed that he would rather dissipate his energy in sourcing forex for petrol than do so for kerosene. The development has led to a sharp increase in the price of a litre of kerosene from N200 to about N300 a litre.
Majority of the NNPC retail outlets visited by Daily Sun were equally out of stock, an indication that the product was in short supply.
But the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the inability of major marketers to continue with importation of kerosene could have been responsible for the shortfall.
Ughamadu said the corporation on its part was still fulfilling its obligation of importing products and equally complementing same with what is produced locally.
‘‘This issue came up last week, during our interaction with independent and major marketers, where the NNPC GMD himself was present. We discovered that the challenge with the marketers is that of forex. But the NNPC GMD urged that to explore the window made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria to access forex.”
He, however, assured that the hitches associated with the current scarcity would be sorted out in a matter of weeks.