Marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), have raised an alarm over the indiscriminate artificial hike in the price of the product, by 75 percent, in the last two weeks.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos, Bassey Essien, the Executive Secretary of the association, said that within a five- day period, the price of a 20 metric tonnes of LPG which hitherto sold for N3.15m, suddenly increased to N3.5 million and N3.9m respectively.
Essien said that a few hours thereafter the price moved to N4.2 million despite the fact that same product has been in the storages of these terminals when price was even sub N3.5 million, so, why the sudden upsurge?
He said the price hike will ultimately dovetail into high prices to the consumers. Adding that, the consumers will in turn want to blame marketers, who unfortunately, are also caught up in the web of price hikes.
“At this time of the year in the past, price hikes used to be attributable to winter season, increased demand for heating energy and international price index. This we have consistently questioned why a product in abundance in our country should become such a victim of any slightest issue occurring internationally. Efforts to extract the cause of the sudden and hourly price increase from the terminals have not been met with any positive response.”
He stated thus: “At one of the terminals, there was an outright denial of any price increase. However, price of LPG has been moved from N3.9m to N4.2M. A representative of the Company, insisted rather that the company had no stock. When asked to explain the sudden price increase to N4.2m, when company had no stock, he was evasive.”
The scribe said this became necessary to react to the current price hike of cooking gas, despite the concerted efforts of the Government, and stakeholders, to deepen the usage of LPG in the country.
The association is hereby disassociating itself, and its members from the antics of the current price hike, and therefore maintaining that the price increase is not the handiwork of marketers, but rather that of the terminal owners, importers, and the NLNG.
The association said that there is urgent need to reverse the price hike, and calls on the NLNG to flood the market with cooking gas, since they have the capacity to do so, and increase the frequency with which the vessels deliver LPG from Bonny to the Terminals, particularly in the Lagos axis.
He said NLNG should supply LPG to other coastal terminals outside Lagos, to reduce the inherent pressure on the terminals in the South West, and also deploy vessels of smaller capacities to access the coastal terminals, if product availability must be achieved.