In certain regions of Nigeria, as the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, continues to soar, residents have turned to charcoal as a substitute, reports Daily Trust.

Simultaneously, the demand for charcoal has surged, contributing to its increased cost, prompting some individuals to revert to firewood. Investigations conducted by Daily Trust in Abuja, Kano, Lagos, and Jos reveal that consumers are paying around N18,000 to refill a 12.5-kilogram cooking gas cylinder.

Last year, the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALGAM) forecasted this price hike, anticipating the cost to reach N18,000 due to frequent increments. Despite efforts such as the committee led by Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, established by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, to alleviate the situation, prices persistently rise.

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Following a surge from approximately N700 to over N1,100 per kilogram in November, Ekpo’s committee aimed to stabilize prices within a week. However, the cost continues to escalate, reaching N1,400 per kilogram in some regions, equivalent to N17,500 for a 12.5 kg cylinder.

Efforts by Daily Trust to reach Louis Ibah, the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications, for insight into the government’s actions regarding gas price reduction, were unsuccessful. Although Ekpo outlined governmental strategies during a stakeholders’ meeting, such as enhancing LPG accessibility and increasing upstream gas production, tangible results remain elusive.

In Lagos, prices fluctuate between N1,150 and N1,350 per kilogram, while in Ogun State, rates range from N1,250 to N1,350. The escalating costs have impacted residents’ budgets, with some opting for alternative cooking methods like charcoal.

Residents in Kwara State and Kano report similar struggles, with prices soaring and alternatives being sought. Munzali Muhammad Hausawa, a civil servant in Kano, exemplifies this trend, having switched to charcoal due to the prohibitive gas prices.

In the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, gas prices range from N1,300 to N1,350 per kilogram, attributed by retailers to gas shortages. Meanwhile, reports from Jos indicate rising firewood and charcoal prices amid low patronage.

Dr. Dauda Garuba, an oil and gas expert, warns of adverse consequences resulting from widespread adoption of alternative cooking methods. He highlights the potential environmental impacts, including deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, underscoring the urgency of addressing Nigeria’s energy crisis.


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