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Gas Entrepreneurs blame the increase in prices on importation

Mr Bassey Essien, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Entrepreneurs, mentioned in an announcement in Lagos that “Nigeria consumes about one million metric tones of cooking gas annually, but 65 per cent of it is imported.

The CBN has no dedicated window for foreign exchange for cooking gas importers, hence the sourcing of foreign exchange at a high price which ultimately dictates the price the product gets to consumers.

“This brings to the fore, our persistent request for the full domestication of cooking gas supply to guide against price manipulations by international market and foreign exchange forces.

“The price of 20 metric tonnes of cooking gas initially rose from N4 million to N5 million then to N5.3 million, all within one month.

“The current high price of cooking gas is not traceable to marketers (plant owners), but to the vagaries of international prices and foreign exchange restrictions.’’

He stressed that cooking gas entrepreneurs had persistently championed the call for local manufacturing of cooking gas from its raw kind to cleaning, distribution and advertising and marketing in order to stave increases in prices as dictated by the importation regime.

“We as marketers are also saying that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) and other gas producers should domesticate the production chain for cooking gas by dedicating sufficient quantity for domestic consumption,’’ he mentioned.

Essien additionally mentioned it was disheartening that cooking gasoline costs went up at a time when Nigerians had been but to recuperate from the hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the #EndSARS protests and the present financial recession.

He noted that the NLNG allotted only 350,000 MT of gas to domestic consumption out of its 4 million metric tones annual manufacturing.

The NLNG mentioned that not too long ago, however, that it will improve its annual domestic allocation of cooking gas to 450,000MT by 2021.

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