Many Nigerians are facing a hard time as the scarcity of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, also known as cooking gas, has hit Lagos and some other states in the country.
The scarcity has led to a sharp increase in the price of the commodity, which is widely used for domestic and commercial purposes.
The scarcity and the price hike have affected consumers in different ways. In Lagos, the price of 12.5kg of cooking gas has risen to between N13,500 and N14,000 at the black market, compared to N8,700 in June and N10,200 in September.
Some of the traders said that gas plant owners now sell to them at between N1100-N1200 per 1kg as they could not access enough quantity.
In Katsina, the scarcity was observed about two weeks ago as several small retailers complained of non-availability. A kilogram of cooking gas now goes for nothing less than N1,400 in the state. No official reason had been given for the scarcity.
In Sokoto, the scarcity has also been noticed in the last few days, leading to prices being increased indiscriminately. A kilogram of cooking gas now sells for between N850 and N950 at some filling stations, while others sell it for between N1,110 and N1,200 at the black market.
In Kaduna, residents were spotted carrying their cylinders in search of the commodity as of Sunday. A retail price of 5 kilogram went for N5,500. In the neighbouring Kano state, the scarcity has also resurfaced, as residents are engaging in panic buying of the commodity. A kilogram of cooking gas now sells for between N900 and N950 at some filling stations, while others sell it for between N1,110 and N1,200 at the black market.
In Delta State, the price of cooking gas has shot up to N1,100 per kg as of Sunday, 5th November, 2023, in Warri and Effurun metropolitan cities. The price was N800 per kg in October in the twin cities. A popular gas dealer in Warri, Mr. Igho, could not ascertain the cause of the price increase. An official in the Public Communications Department of the Nigeria Gas Company, Warri, declined to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, reports from Abuja and Kwara showed that consumers are not experiencing scarcity though prices remain high.
In Abuja, a resident of Karu, in AMAC Local Government Area, told me that he bought 12.5kg of cooking gas for N13,000 on Sunday, 5th November, 2023. He said that the price was N10,500 in October and N8,500 in September. He said that he was not experiencing scarcity, but he was unhappy with the high price. He said that he hoped the government would intervene and regulate the price of cooking gas.
In Kwara, however, showed that the commodity is available in most of the filling stations.
A dealer operating an outlet at Gaa Odota in Ilorin identified as Chief Sunday Oladele told Punch correspondent that gas was available at his outlet adding that a kilogram was being sold at N1,200.
“Cooking gas is available in Kwara state. I have it in my outlet which I sell at N1,200 per kg. We have not experienced scarcity in Kwara. There is also gas at Ogbomoso in Oyo state where I have another outlet and it is being sold at N1,100 per kg.
The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited currently supplies the market 70 percent of the cooking gas being consumed in-country, according to Olatunbosun.