…As NLNG gives reasons for recent cooking gas price hike
..Cooking gas scarcity persists due to forex, lack of space at jetties – Suppliers
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has blamed oil marketers in the country for the excruciating scarcity of kerosene and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas and the high price of the commodities across the country.The price of cooking gas had shot up from about N3,500 in most places before the Christmas holidays, to a minimum of N5,000 for a 12.5 kilogramme cylinder last week, while kerosene which went for as much as N250 per litre is now sold for a minimum of N500 per litre.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in an interview, said the oil marketers were responsible for the scarcity and the hike in the prices of kerosene and cooking gas.
He denied that the scarcity was a ploy by the NNPC to push for an increase in the prices of cooking gas, kerosene, petrol or any other petroleum product. Ughamadu said the NNPC had been consistent in bringing in petroleum products into the country, but its efforts were not being complemented by the marketers, who he said had refused to bring in products.
He noted that the LPG market was fully deregulated and though the NNPC was trying in this regard, it could not compel the marketers to bring in the product, especially as it was not a regulator.
However, Suppliers of the product maintained that the foreign exchange scarcity as well as the hiccup in the supply chain of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise known as cooking gas are currently behind the scarcity of the product in the country,
Sources have said that the devaluation of the naira is one of the issues affecting LPG pricing as the price of the product is denominated in foreign currency.
Sources also said for the past 10 days now there was lockdown at the jetties due to the non-discharge of an ATK parcel meant for OANDO.
This prevented a vessel called MT Glende Melaine currently waiting to discharge LPG, from offloading its cargo. NLNG is also presently doing its best in terms of supply but the dearth of reception points is a major hindrance.
In its own reaction, the General Manager, External Relations, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Kudo Eresia-Eke stated that the high cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly called cooking gas, was caused by shipping costs, delay of cargo discharges at receiving terminals in Lagos and the fact that its price is based on an international price index,
He said Nigeria LNG’s domestic LPG price is based on an international price index plus 50 per cent of the shipping cost of delivering the product to receiving facilities in Apapa-Lagos.
That price is invoiced in naira at the prevailing official interbank exchange rates, contrary to erroneous assertions made in parts of the media.
The reality of this is that although LPG is produced and consumed locally, the product, like crude oil, is an internationally traded commodity with an international price benchmark, open to global demand and supply pressures.
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