Liquefied Petroleum Gas, commonly known as cooking gas, is in short supply across several states in Nigeria. The scarcity has affected Lagos, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Kaduna, and other regions, as reported by our correspondents.
The shortage of cooking gas has led to a noticeable surge in prices since late last month, causing financial strain on consumers. Notably, gas terminal owners raised prices by a staggering 66% in October alone. The cost of 20 metric tons of cooking gas surged from N10 million at the start of the previous month to N16 million by the end of October, even though the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) supplies 20MT of cooking gas to them at N9 million.
A recent market survey revealed that a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas now sells for between N13,500 and N14,000 on the black market. According to some traders, gas plant owners are now selling to them at a rate of between N1,100 and N1,200 per kilogram due to difficulties in accessing an adequate quantity.
This dire situation marks a substantial increase in prices compared to earlier this year. In June, the price of a 12.5kg cylinder was around N8,700. By September, the price had risen to N10,200, and as of Saturday, it stood between N13,500 and N14,000.
The President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, Oladapo Olatunbosun, acknowledged the gas scarcity in Lagos and emphasized the importance of buying from reputable gas plant owners to avoid additional price hikes.
In Katsina, the scarcity was first observed about two weeks ago, with no official reasons given for the shortage. Kilograms of cooking gas were reported to be selling for no less than N1,400 in the state.
Sokoto also experienced a shortage of cooking gas in recent days, leading to indiscriminate price increases. Similarly, in Kaduna, residents were seen searching for cooking gas, with 5 kilograms retailing for N5,500.
Kano saw the resurgence of cooking gas scarcity, prompting panic buying among residents. Kilograms of cooking gas were sold for N850 at some filling stations, while others offered it at prices between N900 and N950 per kilogram. Long queues of buyers at filling stations have become a common sight, and the black market price ranged between N1,110 and N1,200 per kilogram.
In Delta State, cooking gas prices reached N1,100 per kilogram as of November 5, 2023, up from N800 per kilogram in October. The reasons for the price increase were not immediately clear, and attempts to obtain clarification from the Nigeria Gas Company, Warri, yielded no response.
In contrast, Abuja and Kwara reported no gas scarcity, though prices remained high. Consumers in Abuja experienced a mix of liquefied gas and pure gas, which didn’t last as long as expected, causing inconvenience. Residents mentioned that the cost of cooking gas had also risen.
Kwara, however, had no scarcity issues, with gas available at most filling stations and selling at N1,200 per kilogram.
The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited currently supplies 70% of the cooking gas consumed in the country. Nigeria’s LPG sector has seen rapid growth, with a projected market size of $10 billion, and per capita consumption has risen from 1.8 kilograms in 2015 to 5 kilograms in 2021.
Oladapo Olatunbosun, the President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, noted that prices might have increased even more if not for the alarm raised by gas plant owners. The Federal Government has reportedly summoned the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to address the rising prices, with hopes of price reductions in the near future.