Many Nigerian homes experiencing distress following the prolonged recession may have one of their major headaches addressed with the recent discharge of 13,000 tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, by the Nigeria LNG Limited to Lagos Jetty yesterday.
LPG, which is another name for cooking gas, has been priced beyond the comfortable reach of the average urban resident following the scarcity of the product since the festive period in December.
The progressive rise of the cost of a 12kg cylinder from N2,600 in October 2017 to N3,500 in December and currently at N5,500, has left many homes in disarray as the alternative of Kerosene was neither available in the filling stations nor affordable.
External Relations General Manager of the NLNG, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke said in a statement on Monday that the product would be available before mid-week, adding that the “vessel is scheduled to return to the NLNG facility in Bonny for re-load”
Eresia-Eke denied claims by marketers that the use of international pricing for the sale of the product produced in the country was the reason for the hike in price and therefore artificial scarcity. He said the current high price was due to delays in the discharge of the product at the facilities in Apapa, Lagos.
He however admitted, “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 Lagos. The price is invoiced in Naira at the prevailing official interbank exchange rates.”
“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,” , adding that “the NLNG subsidizes the cost of transporting about 40 per cent of total domestic share, which it supplies from its production facility on Bonny Island”
He concluded: “We are also engaged with other public and private stakeholders along the domestic market value chain to stimulate price stability and growth. In conclusion, NLNG remains fully committed to the goals of ensuring LPG supply availability, reliability and affordability, which are key for the development, and growth of the domestic LPG market. It is in this regard that the NLNG Board recently approved an increase in the LPG dedicated for supply into the domestic market from 250,000 metric tons to 350,000 metric tons annually,”