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Reasons Cooking Gas Price is on the Increase – Retailers

By on May 31, 2012

Cooking gas consumers are consistently faced with higher cost of gas refills every time they go to refill their canisters. To the uninformed, it would appear that the retailers have a ritual of arbitrarily increasing the price whenever they feel like doing so. This is not the case.

The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Association of Nigeria has given reasons for the escalating price of cooking gas or LPG in the country.

According to a statement released by the body yesterday the primary reason for the high gas prices center on the fact most of the LPG is imported. The association also cited infrastructure and absence of conducive government policy as causes of the incessant price increase.

The statement reads, “The storage depots are very few and most of them are concentrated in Lagos State, making the price to be much higher in other states. Other factors are bad road networks, which make cost of distribution very high; congestion at the Apapa Port, which causes delay for the berthing of LPG vessels; and lack of a robust government policy for the sector.”

Calling for discounted LPG cylinders to be made available to consumers, the association suggested a discounted LPG cylinder acquisition scheme similar to the practice in Ghana.

It stated, “In fact, the scheme can be designed in a way that a prospective LPG user can acquire LPG cylinder and other necessary material at less than 40 per cent of market price and unconsciously pay the real cost as he or she refills the cylinder. This is done in other countries, including Ghana.”

Adding that, “Cylinders should also be produced locally as it was done in the past. Fake and substandard cylinders, equipment and accessories should be eradicated from the market. Public enlightenment programmes should be created to popularize the product because many Nigerians know little or nothing about LPG. Nigerians should be told that LPG is not as dangerous as many think. Also, the enlightenment should include providing information to help users handle LPG in their houses.”

The body also called for favorable government policy in the form of tax waivers and similar concessions.

It said, “There is a need for tax waivers for investors. Government should reduce or even remove duties charged on imported LPG cylinders, equipment and accessories in order to boost the use of the product in the country. There is a need for locally refined LPG to boost supply and to reduce price. Also there is a need for the construction of internal depots.”