By Adedotun Ajayi
The recent surge in the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, has not only exacerbated the challenges faced by Nigerians but has also pushed a significant number of them into the grip of energy poverty.
According to investigations by The Hope, the fluctuation in cooking gas prices across different stations in Akure reflects a complex interplay of economic factors. Currently, some stations are selling cooking gas at N825 per kg, while others have prices soaring to N940 or even N1,000. This disparity in pricing raises concerns over transparency in the market, as well as the impact on consumers and businesses.
According to experts, the variation can be attributed to multiple factors, including global natural gas price trends, transportation costs, supply chain efficiency, and local market competition. Understanding the dynamics behind these price discrepancies is essential for policymakers, businesses, and consumers alike, as it can inform strategies to stabilize prices and ensure affordable access to this vital energy source in a nation where cooking gas is a common choice for households and small businesses.
Oluwole Olakunle, an economic expert, said the unending increase in cooking gas price is a cause for concern. It’s impacting households and businesses across the country.
He said there are a few factors at play “Firstly, the global rise in natural gas price has had a domino effect on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) price in Nigeria. Also, the scarcity of foreign exchange and distribution challenges are contributing to the problem.
He said It is affecting the common man because cooking gas is an essential energy source for many households. “The price increase is straining household budgets, and some are reverting to less efficient energy sources, which can have health and environmental implications”
“To tackle this problem, the government should consider policies to stabilize prices, encourage local production, and improve the distribution network. Additionally, promoting energy efficiency and alternative cooking methods can also be explored.
Dr. David Aina, an oil and gas expert, addressed the issue of rising cooking gas prices in Nigeria. He emphasized that the surge in global natural gas price has significantly impacted the local market, causing a sharp increase in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cost.
He pointed out that this situation is a cause for concern, as LPG is an essential energy source for many households in Nigeria. He also highlighted the challenges of foreign exchange scarcity and distribution issues as contributing factors to the problem. He suggested that government intervention is crucial to stabilize prices, promote local LPG production, and enhance the distribution network.
Furthermore, he stressed the importance of promoting energy efficiency and alternative cooking methods as part of a comprehensive solution to the issue.
Aina’s insights shed light on the complexity of the situation and the need for a multifaceted approach to address the cooking gas price hike in Nigeria.
Biodun Adesida, another seasoned oil and gas expert, weighed in on the persistent issue of rising cooking gas price in Nigeria.
He outlined a comprehensive approach to tackle this problem. Adesida emphasized the need for diversification of energy sources and a strategic focus on reducing the country’s heavy reliance on Imported Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
He suggested that Nigeria should invest in domestic LPG production and exploration, which would create a more stable supply chain and reduce the vulnerability to global price fluctuations.
Additionally, Adesida recommended government incentives to promote energy-efficient cooking appliances and alternative cooking methods, such as induction stoves and solar cookers. This, he believes, would help mitigate the financial burden on households and reduce the demand for cooking gas.
Adesida also highlighted the importance of robust price regulation and monitoring to ensure that consumers are protected from unreasonable price hikes. His insights underscore the significance of a multi-pronged strategy to address the persistent issue of cooking gas price increases in Nigeria.
Olumide Oluwatosin, a resident in a neighbourhood in Akure, expressed his distress regarding the surge in cooking gas price in Nigeria.
He conveyed the hardships faced by ordinary citizens like himself, stating that the new prices have become unmanageable for his family. Olumide described how he used to rely on cooking gas for the convenience and safety it offered in his kitchen.
However, the sharp increase in price has forced him to reconsider. He emphasized that many families in his community were grappling with similar challenges, and some are reverting to less efficient and potentially hazardous cooking methods due to affordability.
Olumide called government to address the crisis, as he believes that it’s affecting the well-being of countless households across the nation. His heartfelt lament serves as a stark reminder of the impact of rising cooking gas price on ordinary Nigerians.
Shileola Ogundipo, a small-scale food business owner, shared her concerns about the recent surge in cooking gas price affecting her livelihood.
With a hint of frustration in her voice, she described how the increasing cost of cooking gas made it increasingly difficult to sustain her business.
Shileola highlighted that cooking gas is an essential component of her operations, providing efficient and clean cooking for the dishes she prepares for her customers. However, the steep rise in gas price has forced her to make tough decisions, including increasing food prices or compromising on the quality of her services.
She lamented how the situation is affecting not only her but also her loyal customers, many of whom are also facing economic hardships. She urged the authorities to consider the plight of small business owners like herself and explore measures to alleviate the burden of soaring cooking gas price.
Damilola Oni, an entrepreneur, said in recent times, there has been issue with the quality of cooking gas available in the market.
She said: “Despite the steep rise in price, consumers like myself are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain genuine and reliable cooking gas. This concern arises from personal experience; for instance, a 6kg gas cylinder that used to last a whole month now barely makes it through two weeks. While we understand that price may continue to be high, our appeal is for suppliers to ensure the provision of authentic and unadulterated product to consumers. It is vital that we receive genuine cooking gas, even if it comes at a higher cost, to safeguard our cooking operations”