Lagos — Prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) in Nigeria appears unstable last month, according to latest data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
While the Statistics body said prices reduced on a 5kg cylinder, same cannot be said for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder which saw an increase in January.
The NBS latest data report, ‘Liquefied Petroleum Gas Price Watch – January 2021’ said average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder decreased by -0.04% month-on-month and by -3.47% year-on-year to N1,949.02 in January 2021 from N1,949.75 in December 2020.
States with the highest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for cooking gas were Bauchi (N2,480.00), Adamawa (N2,450.00) and Borno (N2,394.34).
Those with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder of the product were Enugu (N1,620.00), Ebonyi (N1,707.12) and Osun (N1,718.18).
On the other hand, while states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder of the product were Kaduna (N3,291.19), Zamfara (N3,565.83) and Niger (N3,675.00), those with the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder were Cross River (N4,791.67), Sokoto (N4,753.42) and Akwa Ibom (N4,614.49).
Similarly, average price for the refilling of a 12.5kg cylinder increased by 0.56% month-on-month and decreased by -0.06% year-on-year to N4,177.55 in January 2021 from N4,154.28 in December 2020.
As of last December, price of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas shot up from between N3,600 and N3,800 to between N4,200 and N4,500 depending on the location.
Nigeria consumes about one million metric tonnes of cooking gas annually, but 65 percent of it is imported, according to the
Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Mr. Bassey Essien.
Mr. Essien had accused the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN of not having a 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”, he said.
With the hope of diverisying its revenue due to low crude oil prices at the international market, and increasing local consumption, the federal government had declared 2020 and beyond a decade of gas, and as a result, massive investments are currently being made on costructing gas facilities across the country.
Mr. Essien added that 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.
Although Nigeria’s main gas producer and exporter, the NLNG currently allocates only 350,000 MT of gas to domestic consumption out of its four million metric tonnes annual production, it however said recently, that it would increase its annual domestic allocation of cooking gas to 450,000MT this year.