The price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) has risen by about 16.6 per cent at most retail outlets in Lagos and Ogun State, sequel to the face-off between the major supplier of the product in the country, Nigerian NLG Limited, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
As a result, a 12-kilogramme cylinder of gas, which normally goes for about N3,000 and which sold for between N3,300 and N3,400 on Monday, sold for N3,500 at retail shops on Tuesday.
However, customers were able to get the product at gas plants at a reduced rate. Major plants in Lagos and Ogun states started rationing their LPG stock last Friday and began increasing the price on Monday in some parts of the country.
This was said to have been caused by the speculation of an imminent crisis in the gas sub sector as a result of the crisis between NIMASA and NLNG.
Though over 80 per cent of retailers in Lagos did not increase the price of cooking gas on Monday, checks on Tuesday revealed that the price had been increased across board in Lagos and other parts of the country.
An official at one of the plants said it was expected that the crisis would lead to price hike because plant owners and retailers would sell based on the cost the product was delivered to them.
“If the plant owners source products at a higher cost, they will surely increase their selling prices. It is not as if they are just inflating prices unnecessarily. It is what plant owners buy that they will sell,” he said.
However, these consumers represent a small portion of the cooking gas consuming population in the country, which means that majority of the consumers will still patronise the retailers.
NIMASA had on May 3, 2013 blocked the Bonny channel, preventing entry and exit of NLNG vessels over non-payment of levies.