Retailers, consumers decry hike in cooking gas price
The National Bureau of Statistics says the price of selected food items have increased in the last twelve months.
This is according to the NBS Selected Food Price Watch Report for April, 2022 released in Abuja on Thursday.
The report showed that the average price of 1kg of Beans (white, black eye, sold loose) rose on a year-on-year basis by 44.32 per cent from N359.64 in April 2021 to N519.05 in April 2022.
Also, on a month-on-month basis, this increased by 2.59 per cent to N505.94 in March 2022.
The report revealed that the average price of bread sliced 500g increased on a year-on-year basis by 35.31 per cent from N332.95 in April 2021 to N450.51 in April 2022.
“On a month-on-month basis, the average price of this item increased by 0.61 per cent in April 2022.’’
Similarly, it said that the average price of 1kg yam tuber on a year-on-year basis, rose by 42.88 per cent from the value recorded in April 2021 at N252.80 to N361.20 in April 2022.
It said on a month-on-month basis, it increased from N353.56 in March 2022 to N361.20 in April 2022, indicating 2.16 per cent growth.
In the same vein, the report revealed that the average price of Palm oil (1 bottle) increased by 45.59 per cent from N578.86 in April 2021 to N842.75 in April 2022. It also grew by 0.06 per cent on a month-on-month basis
The report said the average price of 1kg Plantain (unripe) rose by 38.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N243.37 in April 2021 to N337.47 in April 2022.
It added that the average price of Groundnut oil (1 bottle), stood at N1, 007.68 in April 2022, showing an increase of 46.21 per cent from N689.19 in April 2021.
“On a month-on-month basis, it rose by 1.31 per cent from N994.62 in March 2022.’’
The report showed that at the state level, Ebonyi recorded the highest average price of Beans (white, black eye, sold loose) with N875.71, while the lowest was reported in Borno with N256.67.
It said the highest average price of bread sliced at 500g was recorded in Ebonyi with N650.0, while the lowest was recorded in Borno with N261.38.
The report showed that Akwa-Ibom recorded the highest price of 1kg yam tuber with N695.93, while Bauchi recorded the lowest with N133.28.
Analysis by zone from the report showed that South-East recorded the highest average price of beans brown, sold loose with N831.09, followed by the South-South with N676.13, while the North-East recorded the least with N307.21.
“Similarly, the South-East recorded the highest average price of bread sliced 500g with N601.09, followed by the South-South with N550.21, while the lowest was recorded in the North-East with N278.51”.
The report also showed that the average price of 1kg of yam tuber was higher in the South-West and the South-South with N528.78 and N495.02 respectively, while the lowest was recorded in the North-East with N142.79.
Retailers, consumers decry hike in cooking gas price
Also, retailers and consumers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas also known as cooking gas, on Thursday decried the hike in the price of the product across the country.
They made their views known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos following the increase in the price of cooking gas within the last one month.
NAN reports that consumers have been struggling with the high cost of cooking gas due to global supply challenges, high international prices, limited availability of foreign exchange and high exchange rates.
The price of a 12.5kg cylinder has increased from about N8, 400 to N9, 500 in Lagos and environs and N10, 000 in other parts of the country.
Mrs. Ayo Olaiya, a businesswoman told NAN that the hike in the price of cooking gas was putting strain on women managing the home front.
“With gas you can quickly get food ready for the family, especially when you are in a hurry but now I can’t even use it all the time because of the cost.
“Now, I am using charcoal stove mostly because it is cheaper despite the stress and discomfort,” she said.
A food vendor in Iyana-Ipaja area, Mrs. Iyabo Olowokere, said the increase in the price of gas was affecting her business negatively.
Olowokere said she normally used 12kg cylinder with three burners for cooking but had started using firewood as an alternative due to the cost of cooking gas.
“Government should help us stop this increment because it is not easy for us at all and even if we increase the cost of our food or reduce the quantity, we will be losing customers,” she said.
Michael Umudu, National Chairman, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers, branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, said the situation was indeed, worrisome for both retailers and consumers.
He confirmed that the price of 12.5kg cylinder had risen from about N8, 400 to between N9, 500 and N10, 000 in Lagos and other parts of the country.
According to him, prices at the depots have similarly risen to about N12.6 million for 20 metric tons from N11.4 million, which was the average price a few weeks ago.
He said: “The worrisome aspect of this development is that it has continued to rise on daily basis for weeks now but began to escalate in the last few weeks leading to significant increases in both depots and retail outlets.
“For us as retailers, it is a big problem because we can’t even afford to stock up our shops and even when we do, it will take time before we can make enough sales to get back our investments.
“What we find now is that people even bring in 12.5kg cylinders but opt to fill them with less than 6kg of gas just to manage at home.”
Umudu said the union, therefore, expected the government to come up with clear policy direction for the development of LPG in the country to forestall the ugly situation.
He said: “LPG as a clean energy has steadily been embraced by low income earning Nigerians in the last seven years against previous years when it was seen as the preserve of the rich.
“What we are witnessing now is that demand for LPG is reducing drastically because people can no longer afford the product and are resorting to firewood and kerosene stoves which have health implications.”
Umudu appealed to the government to create a dedicated forex window for LPG importers, noting that the allocation from the Nigerian LNG Ltd. could only meet about 40 per cent of the consumption in the country.
But the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association said Nigeria consumed a total of 1.2MT of LPG in 2021 with about 60 per cent imported into the country by marketers.
Andy Odeh, General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, NLNG, explained that the company supplied about 400,000MT of LPG to the domestic market in 2021.
He said the board approved the supply of 450,000MT, 100 per cent of the company’s LPG production (Propane and Butane), to the domestic market in 2022.
Odeh said this marked the company’s strong commitment to the continued growth of the domestic LPG market.