Nigerians have continued to experience scarcity of Liquefied Natural Gas or cooking gas, shooting up prices across the country.
The scarcity and the high cost of the product have been reported in Lagos, Kano, Maiduguri, among others, reports Daily Trust.
Gas dealers have, however, assured that the scarcity is temporary as it was triggered by the faulty vessel that was supposed to supply the product to Lagos terminals.
The situation has seen some terminals ration supply with several filling stations not dispensing.
Checks across filling stations and retail outlets in parts of Lagos State indicated that only few of them were dispensing the product with varied prices.
At Iyana Ipaja, our correspondent visited two retail gas stations with only one of them dispensing.
At Petrocam Station at Ile-Epo, Oke Odo, it was observed that a 12.5kg cylinder was still being sold at N12,000 yesterday, but the product was not available.
One of the attendants told our correspondent the station was still awaiting supply from the terminal even though many people had queued with their cylinders.
In Kano, our correspondent reports that the scarcity has been persistent even as a kilogramme is being sold for N1,300 in some of the stations.
Speaking with our correspondent, a retailer Abubakar Aliyu, said, “The Cooking gas is scarce even though whenever I go out to source for it I hardly come back empty because at times I buy it directly from the company and the only thing is that when it is scarce they used to tell us that there is scarcity of gas so that we can demand for another supply.”
On his part Adamu Abdullahi, who is also a retailer, said, “Honestly, we are experiencing cooking gas scarcity compared to a few days back. Now when we go to the company it takes us longer to get there and we have to join the queue from morning till evening before we can get any supply.
The manager of Bilkaka Oil & Gas Plant, Auwal Umar Baba, said: “It is true that there is gas scarcity considering the fact that even in Lagos where we are buying it, it is also not readily available. This could be because of the forex crisis.
In Maiduguri, Borno State Capital, the cooking gas scarcity is affecting many households.
Checks revealed that the hike in the gas price was as a result of scarcity and other costs of doing the business.
Muhammad Abacha Maidoki, a staff member of Machar Oil and Gas Limited, blamed the increase in the gas price on lack of access to the supply and transportation cost.
He said it was becoming difficult for them to get supply, adding, that “Our drivers are now spending two weeks on the road to convey the gas instead of the 5 days they usually spent in the past due to bad roads.
Another manager of a gas station, who pleaded anonymity, said that 1kg of gas was now sold at N1,166 in his station.
In all the stations visited, prices vary from one gas station to another. While some charge N14,000 per 12.5kg others charge N13,500.
Some of the customers who spoke to this reporter complained that the regular hike in the price of gas was straining their budgets and posing risks to their businesses.
Scarcity will soon be over – Marketers
The president of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALGAM), Oladapo Olatunbosun, in a chat with our correspondent, said the scarcity was temporary, disclosing that a vessel conveying 14,000 tons of cooking gas to Lagos broke down onshore.
He described the development as unfortunate, coming at a time marketers had cried out over skyrocketing prices.
“The vessel conveying gas to Lagos had a major fault and that is what caused the problem. If that vessel had come to Lagos State, it would have come with 14,000 metric tonnes but it is undergoing repairs, that is why Lagos has no supply from NLNG. Very soon by the grace of God, the product will come to Lagos and there will be normalcy.”