A cooking gas scarcity is looming in Nigeria
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency(PPPRA), has ordered those with direct investments and contractual buyers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas to surrender their pricing templates to the agency. However they have declined, arousing the fear of a cooking gas scarcity.
There has been frantic effort by the federal government of Nigeria to promote the consumption of LPG in past years, but the incessant fuel crises seem to be a major setback. The inability of the country to fully maximise 187 trillion cubic feet of gas remains a major concern as Nigeria ranks lowest compared to other sub Saharan countries like Ghana, Morocco and South Africa in the usage of cooking gas.
As cooking gas scarcity looms, many citizens may eventually resort to using kerosene which is currently sold at N50 per litre, as opposed to joining long queues at filling stations. A 12.5kg cylinder sold at N2800 to N3500 will likely rise to N4000- N5000. The kerosene to gas vision of Emmanuel Kachikwu; the new chairman of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) seems to be threatened by the current refusal of the highest body of the LPG investors and Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) to submit their price template.
The strong stance of NLPGA not to submit their price template on the other hand could be viewed as part of the problems facing the oil sector – transparency. Just like other sectors of the Nigerian economy, most investors in the oil and gas sectors has taken advantage of the loophole in the PPPRA’s regulations and the recent move to make LPG investors submit a price template is not in view.
Artificial scarcity of kerosene has gripped the Nigerian economy in past months and the looming gas scarcity would affect supply across the country. Recently, Nigeria’s oil revenue crashed 67% to $3.42 billion and subsequent cases of fuel scarcity will in turn affect the economy. The resultant effect of cooking gas scarcity will be an increase in kerosene prices, subsequent hoarding and endless queues at filling stations and major depots.
PPPRA has been regulating the prices of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) since 2013.