Drop in price of cooking gas excites consumers

Cooking gas
Cooking gas

By Anayo Ezugwu

NIGERIANS are happy about the drop in price of cooking gas or Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG. They also expressed satisfaction that the product is available everywhere.  Some of people told Realnews that the drop in the price of the commodity was a relief to them, considering the economic difficulties the country is passing through.

The magazine checks at some filling stations and gas plants across Lagos showed that the 12.5kg of cooking gas, which sold for N4,000 in June now sells for between N3,200 and N3,400. While the six (6) kg, which sold for N2,000 in June now goes for N1,600.

Regina Onuze, who uses cooking gas at Ikotun Lagos, expressed happiness over the drop in the price, saying that it is a big relief to her family. “The situation is quite different now; there is no longer much financial pressure or stress searching for the product from one gas plant to another. In the last three years, the least you can get cooking gas was N4,500; but I was astonished when I refilled my gas cylinder with N3,200 in July, and also paid the same amount on Saturday, August 25, to refill my second cylinder,” she said.

Another cooking gas user, Chidimma Okolo, a resident of Enugu, acknowledged that the price is dropping, but added that as an essential commodity, the price is still N3,400. “More efforts should be made by the government to make it affordable to an average Nigerian,” she said.

It is not only the consumers, who are happy about the drop in the price of cooking gas. Retailers and dealers are also rejoicing because they are recording more sales now unlike when the product was scarce and was selling at higher prices.

A retailer at Ajuwon Lagos, who gave his name as Chinedu, also attributed the drop in the price of cooking gas to improved supply and distribution of the product. He observed that the product is readily available at the gas plants anytime of the day.

“The price has dropped and I’m happy about it because some of my customers that had stopped patronising me are back now. The most important thing for me is that my customers are enjoying the drop in price and if the price continues to drop I’m sure more people will start using gas. And that means more business for us,” he said.

But the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in its July 2019 cooking gas price watch,  indicated that the price of the commodity increased. The NBS said the average price for the refilling of a five kg cylinder of cooking gas increased to N2,024.80 in July from N1,995.38 in June. It said the price of refilling a five kg cylinder increased by 1.47 percent month-on-month and 0.71 percent year-on-year in the period under review.

According to the bureau, states with the highest average price for the refilling of a five kg cylinder gas are Adamawa N2,492.50, Bauchi N2,487.78 and Borno N2,375.

It also said that states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a five kg cylinder for cooking gas were Abuja N1,778.33, Osun N1,776.56 and Enugu N1,733.25.

“Similarly, average price for the refilling of a 12.5 kg cylinder cooking gas decreased by -0.23 per cent month-on-month and -0.66 per cent year-on-year to N4,216.29 in July from N4,226.04 in June.”

The report said that states with the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5 kg cylinder cooking gas were Akwa Ibom N4,657.22, Benue N4,600.67 and Bayelsa N4,588.89. The NBS added that states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5 kg cylinder cooking gas were Lagos N3,878.95, Oyo N3,836.11 and Kano N3,800.

To ensure that that the price does not increase again and smooth distribution of the product, the federal government has begun the clampdown on illegal gas plants and roadside retailers of cooking gas. Bassey Nkanga, operations controller, Port Harcourt Zone of the DPR, said the government had in May stopped customers’ ownership of cylinders as well as barred the refilling of gas cylinders by the roadsides and other unauthorised places.

The policy, he said, would require that the ownership of LPG cylinders rest solely with the dealers and distributors. According to him, the department had held several meetings with operators of gas plants and LPG retailers to introduce them to standard minimum requirements acceptable in the industry.

“The new model by government; decanting (transferring from one gas cylinder to another) is not allowed, trans-filling is also not allowed. That is why we are encouraging, enlightening, and engaging them (retailers) to adopt the new methodologies, whereby, somebody would have to drop (empty cylinder) and pick another one with gas.

“The era of decanting, trans canting and transferring from one cylinder to the other is no longer going to be allowed. So, we have been talking to them (retailers) and they even formed a union to register for the Category D licence. A lot of them have turned up, and so many are yet to turn up,” he said.

– Sept. 13, 2019 @ 17:35 GMT |

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