Some residents of Enugu metropolis have criticised the high cost of cooking gas in the state, the News Agency of Nigeria A correspondent of NAN, who conducted a market survey on the price of cooking gas in some cooking gas plants and outlets on Wednesday, observed that the prices of the products had increased by 50 per cent.
NAN also observed that most cooking gas outlets sold the product at the rate of N500, while the cooking gas plants sold to customers at the rate of between N440 and N450 per kilogramme.
Some residents, who spoke to NAN in separate interviews, appealed to the government and Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency to address the rising cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
They criticised the steady rise in the price of the product, adding that the average Nigerian family was finding it difficult to buy the commodity at its current price of between N440 and N500 per kilogramme.
Mr Emma Ugorji, a cooking gas user, who spoke with NAN at the Second Coming Cooking gas plant on Amechi Road said the price of LPG had been on a steady rise since April 2021.
Another user, Mrs Marbel Onyia, said the commodity was sold at N350 per kilogramme in April, but had skyrocketed to between N450 and N500 since June in all outlets.
She described the situation as unacceptable and called on relevant authorities to urgently take steps to reverse the price hike.
Mrs Ada Nweke, a retired teacher and a cooking gas user, also expressed displeasure with the high price of the product, adding that it had brought more hardship to many families.
“Since June, I can no longer fill my 15 kilogramme-cylinder due to the high price of the commodity.
“We now alternate the gas with a kerosene stove to save costs, although kerosene itself now sells at between N295 and N300 a litre, depending on the filling station.
“The recent rise in cooking gas and kerosene is putting most families on the edge while many have resorted to using fire wood which is not environment friendly.
“To be honest with you, the situation is disheartening and many low-income earners can no longer afford cooking gas at the price; I have resorted to buying eight kilogrammes, instead of filling my 12.5 kilogramme-cylinder.
“I appeal to relevant authorities to address the worsening economic downturn and reverse the hike in prices of essential commodities in Nigeria,” Nweke added.
Mr Gius Agu, a civil servant and a father of three, lamented that buying the product at its current price with a salary of less than N70,000 a month was becoming difficult for him.
“With other monthly utility bills to pay, including electricity and environmental bills, buying cooking gas, an essential commodity for the family at its present price, is seriously weighing down on my monthly earnings.
“The product which sells at N500 per kilogramme is too much for us at the lower cadre of the economic ladder and I appeal to the government to rescue the situation,” Agu said.
Meanwhile, an attendant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, at the Second Coming Cooking Gas plant, Amechi Road, said that gas price was not determined by the stations but by the price fixed by regulatory agencies.
She said that every petroleum product, including LPG, was being regulated by the federal government through its agencies.
She added that the current price was affecting daily sales because most customers were finding it difficult to buy the product.
“We are losing customers because of the price hike, many who come to the station prefer to buy half of the cylinder size or even less, although we only sell from three kilogrammes upwards,” she said.
An outlet cooking gas dealer, Mr Ikenna Ozor, said that the reason for the price increase was yet unknown, adding that he sold to his customers according to what he bought from the major dealers.
NAN reports that the commodity had not been found in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s sales outlets nearby, thus heightening fears that the price increase might not abate soon.