Nigeria Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has appealed for urgent intervention by the Federal Government in arresting the galloping increase in prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, in several states of the country.
The marketers made the appeal in a letter jointly signed by its Executive Secretary, Bassey Essien, and National Public Relations Officer, Raphael Aguele, addressed to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.
They demanded that the government put in place a policy to encourage full domestication of LPG in the country.
They also demanded that every local producer of gas be mandated to domicile all molecules produced in the country to end the paradox where Nigeria, a major producer and exporter of natural gas, is also a net importer of finished gas produces, like cooking gas.
The cost of LPG early in 2020 was N3.4 million per 20MT truck, but by December 2020, it had gone up to N5.4 million, and by january 2021 it went up to N5.6 million and N6 million per 20 MT by February, 2021.
“If all molecule of gas produced should be domesticated, the local markets will be adequately supplied and prices stabilised. By this, the concerted efforts of the federal and state government agencies to encourage the use of gas will not be in vain.
Thus we urge your urgent intervention to address the plight of stakeholders; else all the expansion programmes of the government will be an exercise in futility,” NALPGAM said.
They said the country’s local consumption which hitherto stood at about 70,000 metric tons as at 2007, had grown to over one million metric tons as at the end of 2020.
“The galloping price increases have not only choked marketers but also strangulated consumers, thus making a mockery of the whole gas expansion plan of the government. A major challenge with the LPG utilisation in Nigeria is the issue of inconsistent availability and ever galloping gas price with the attendant depot landing costs and other associated charges. The domestic availability has been skewed majorly to 65 percent import dependence, while only 35 percent has been attributed to local supply. The price of LPG has exponentially skyrocketed over the last few months,” the marketers said.
They noted that the gains made in the huge conversion rate to LPG usage which had moved the per capita consumption from 1.5kg to over 3kg have gradually reduced because of the domestic costs of LPG.
The marketers said majority of users of LPG were gradually reverting to the use of kerosene and firewood with the obvious known health implications. NALPGAM also alleged that LPG operations at the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, Oredo IGHF Plant, Ologbo, Edo State, was dominated by middlemen.