The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGM) says terminal operators are limiting access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by increasing the price of the product.
The marketers, led by Oladapo Olatunbosun, its president, on Monday, made this known in a meeting with the senate on Monday.
Speaking during the meeting, Olatunbosun said the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has been consistent with its supply but the cabals have disrupted the availability of gas to Nigerians.
Olatunbosun said some of the gas terminal owners who were buying the product cheaply from the NLNG, sold it at a costly price to them.
“The cabals are making it difficult for the average Nigerian to have access to gas. As of today, gas is sold by these terminal owners for N16.8 million for 20 metric tonnes whereas NNLG sells to them for a little bit less than N9 million,” he said.
The marketers said although all transactions were conducted in naira, the terminal operators frequently cited foreign exchange as one of the factors contributing to the rise in gas prices.
“These cabals have also made the practice of hiding behind forex but the question is does NNLG get paid in dollars? No. All the transactions are completed in naira. What is the role of forex in this situation? Where is the import evidence?” he asked.
“You buy gas for N9 million from NLNG and pay in naira, then you sell the same gas for N16 million and blackmail the government.
“When people get to our plants and we tell them the price, they start weeping and cursing the government, whereas the government has done its best to make life bearable to the people.”
He said if the activities of the marketers are not checkmated “the gas would become a luxurious product available to only the rich”.
Olatunbosun said that if measures were not taken to adequately address these issues, by December, 12.5 kg worth of gas would sell for N25,000.
“By December, these cabals might start to sell 20 metric tonnes for N200 million. This would mean that gas will sell for 2,000 per kg and N25,000 for 12.5kg,” he added.
‘UTILISATION LEVEL OF GAS IN NIGERIA LOW DUE TO AFFORDABILITY’
The marketer said considering the population of Nigeria, the country’s gas consumption is low — but the cost has affected the increase in usage.
Olatunbosun said: “We are operating 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum but if we look at our population, we ought to be operating around 6 to 7m metric tonnes per annum but due to availability and affordability; we can’t operate at that level yet.”
“And when gas prices went up, the level of consumption dropped, at the moment, the level of usage is between 750,000 to 900,000 metric tonnes per annum.”
He said the spiralling price of gas would lead to deforestation as more Nigerians would turn to wood and charcoals to cook.
By Bunmi Aduloju
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