Nigeria is currently experiencing a scarcity of gas both for domestic and commercial use, causing the price of the product to rise to unimaginable levels.  It now costs N3, 500 to refill a 12.5kg gas cylinder instead of the previous rate of between N2, 500 and N2, 800 in places like Lagos state. The price has also changed from N800 to N1, 500 to refill a 4kg gas cylinder in the metropolis.

The reasons for the scarcity and corresponding increase in the prices are myriad . Inadequate and vandalization of gas infrastructure lack of access to funding and conflicting regulatory frameworks are some of the problems responsible for the current challenge.

Apart from that, Dayo Adeshina, President of the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) said that high cost of foreign exchange is also one of the major reasons for the hike in price. He said that there was a disruption in the LPG supply chain because NAFGAS Terminal and the Northern Oil Jetty (NOJ) which are the only licensed suppliers in that aspect were diverted to give priority to the supply of white fuel products as petrol and kerosene that still fall under their operation.

“…Because Premium Motor Spirit takes precedence over other products, the vessel would have to return to Bonny to load more products, in order not to incur demurrage charges. Unfortunately, in the process of this time lag, prices go up,” Adesina said while explaining the delay in the supply process of gas from the terminals. Adesina advocated more investment in the sector as the best solution to the lingering problem of scarcity in the industry.

Experts had called on the federal government to rapidly roll out a gas distribution pipeline system to arrest the situation. “Such pipeline systems must be operated and owned by independent private sector entities, but subject to an open access and economic basis so that gas producers can key into the nearest pipeline and gas swaps can become a reality in Nigeria, allowing gas producers to sell directly to consumers, regardless of their locations, while the pipeline transmission companies would collect a tariff for delivering gas to the end consumer,” Dada Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Frontier Oil Ltd said while corroborating Adesina.

Meanwhile, Niger Delta Avengers  on Thursday, 21 July issued a fresh warning to oil workers in the Delta region to leave the area. “We are warning NUPENG and PENGASSAN to leave all oil fields and terminals in the Niger Delta because it is going to be dirty very soon. Foreigners are to leave too,” the militants said in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo.

Maureen Nzeogu
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