The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has frowned at the recent hike in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas better known as cooking gas.
NUPENG in a statement obtained by Bibian Anekwe News today, charged the federal government to revisit its gas expansion programme and to involve all stakeholders in the process as a means of dealing with the outrageous price for retailers.
Bibian Anekwe News observed that cost of commodities had been on the increase in the last few weeks and citizens are expressing their displeasure over the happenings.
The government has been charged to intervene considering the current energy crisis in Nigeria as seen a drop in power supply and petrol scarcity.
The NUPENG LPG retailers’ branch Chairman, Chika Umudu, said, “The branch union decries the return of LPG price rise which has led to an increment of up to N1,000 for 12.5kg size or N80 for 1kg within the last two weeks throughout the country.
“Consequently, the price of the average size cylinder (12.5kg) is now being sold at about N8500 from N7500 two weeks ago in Lagos and neighbouring states.
“Similarly, in parts of Northern Nigeria, South-East and South-South, the price has risen to N9000/N9500 from N8000/N8500. Prices at the depots have similarly risen to about N11m for 20 metric tonnes from N10m and less sold about two weeks ago.”
Bibian Anekwe News understands that food prices are on the rise daily, electricity supply has become even more worse and LPG which is an alternative for cooking has continued to rise.
“NUPENG observed that a similar price rise occurred in 2021 leading to the sale of 12.5kg gas up to thousand N10,000 in late November and early December 2021 amidst supply shortages,” he stated.
“The union, therefore, expects the government to come up with clear policy direction for the development of LPG in the country to forestall the ugly situation,” NUPENG noted.
Umudu stated that LPG being clean energy had steadily been embraced by low income earning Nigerians in the last seven years against previous years when it was seen as the preserve of the rich.
He said the NUPENG branch union considered it as an irony that such price rises were happening at the time when the government was, through policy statements, assuring Nigerians of an adequate supply of the product at affordable prices, Naija News reports.
“Recall that between December 2020 and early months of 2021, the government through its various programmes inaugurated gas expansion programme often tagged ‘Decade of Gas’ aimed at not only making LPG available to all Nigerian homes irrespective of income level but also to expand the use of gas for other purposes such as automobile and public/private electric generation,” he stated.
Umudu reports that enabling infrastructure would have been in place before the inauguration but the events immediately after the inauguration prove the contrary.
“This is not equally good at this time when efforts should be at the top gear to expand the use of LPG in the country as a means of reducing environmental pollution, deforestation and desertification,” he said.
NUPENG also decried the situation where gas produced in Nigeria was priced in the United States dollars, adding that more local production should be encouraged to minimise if not eliminate importation.
The branch union said it was unfortunate that major marketers including international oil companies were prioritising retailing and related activities against their expected major role which was production.
Bibian Anekwe News