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Association attributes increase in cost of cooking gas to hike in dollar rate


Lagos –  The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), otherwise known as cooking gas marketers, on Tuesday said the increase in the cost of cooking gas was due to the hike in dollar exchange rate.
Mr Basil Ogbuanu, President, NALPGAM, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, against the backdrop of the ongoing hike in the price of cooking gas.
NAN reports that the price of a 12.5 kg cylinder in Lagos and environs had increased from N2, 700 to N4, 200.
According to Ogbuanu, the hike in dollar exchange rate also contributed to the ongoing increase in the cost of cooking gas nationwide.
He explained that before now, the official rate use for the conversion of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas was N199 to the dollar, but now it is about N282 per metric tonne.
“The problem of gas could be linked to demand and supply; before now, supply was epileptic, but now vessels have began to berth and discharge gas, while other terminals also have gas.
“The price will begin to come down, it is because the dollar has gone up, but we are hoping that the next gas vessel will push the price down,’’ he said.
The NALPGAM president said the cost of a gas vessel which is about N4.3 million in the market has started coming down, adding that now, it had reduced to N3.8 million.
He said that about N 500,000 had been reduced from the cost of a gas vessel to the marketers which would also reduce the price of gas retail and gas market demand.
Ogbuanu, however, assured that in the next two weeks, the cost of gas would be reduced to between N3,000 to N 3,500.
According to him, another gas vessel is expected in Lagos, which he says will crash the market.
He urged Nigerians to stop panic buying of gas, noting that soon, gas would be available at affordable prices.
Mr Ahmed Farouq, the Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, also assured marketers of effective distribution of gas at the Apapa terminal.
He warned that the company would not tolerate any form of monopoly in the industry, adding that presently, there was enough cooking gas at NIPCO and other companies, to ease the market.
Farouq further explained that customers of cooking gas had complained about the sudden increase in price of gas, stressing that the price was outrageous, considering the current economic situation in Nigeria.
Mrs Shade Ashafa, a gas retailer at Ikorodu, told NAN that there was no reason for the increase in the price of domestic gas because the product was sourced locally and with local currency.
Ashafa added that the price of refilling the 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder had been between N3,200 and N3,500 but it had gone up to between N4,000 and N4,500.
Another retailer, Mr Sunday Andrew, said that the increase in the price was not because of scarcity, but `Infrastructural bottlenecks’
Andrew noted that the shortage of terminals for the discharge of LPG in the country and delays in getting the product from the terminals also contributed to the price hike.
NAN reports that terminals located in Lagos are NAFGAS Terminal and the Northern Oil Jetty (NOJ), currently managed by the PPMC, on behalf of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). (NAN)

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