Nigeria is facing a severe scarcity of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, commonly known as cooking gas, with Lagos and several other states in the grip of the crisis. Investigations by our correspondents have revealed that the shortage has affected states including Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Kaduna, and Kano.
The price of cooking gas has seen a continuous rise since late last month, triggering concerns among consumers. Terminal owners reportedly increased the price by 66% in October alone. Despite the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited supplying 20 metric tons of cooking gas to them at N9 million, the price for consumers surged from N10 million at the beginning of last month to N16 million as of late last month.
In a recent market survey, The Punch found that a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas now sells for between N13,500 and N14,000 on the black market, compared to around N8,700 in June and N10,200 in September.
Scarcity has led to panic buying, long queues, and indiscriminate price hikes across affected states. Additionally, consumers have reported issues such as liquefaction, where gas does not last as long as before, leading to further concerns.
While no official reasons have been given for the scarcity, the rising prices have been attributed to factors such as foreign exchange rates and the increasing prices of crude oil in the international market. Terminal owners have pointed to these challenges as justifications for the price hikes.
Amidst the crisis, the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers has urged the federal government to intervene, warning that prices could reach as high as N18,000 for a 12.5kg cylinder by December if action is not taken.
The federal government has reportedly summoned the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to address the situation and bring stability to the market. As consumers anxiously wait for relief, the cooking gas scarcity continues to impact households and businesses across the nation.