—-as marketers warn it may hit N10,000 by December
The price of the 12.5 kilogramme of Liquefied Petroleum Gas,( LPG) or cooking gas, has continued to soar in an unprecedented manner as it has now hit N8,500 in many parts of the country.
This was despite the Federal Government’s plan to make the product appealing to the common man.
The government earlier this year launched the National Gas Expansion Programme,( NGEP,) to drive increased utilisation of gas as a better alternative for petroleum fuel for homes, industries and automobiles.
The 12kg of LPG sold for N7,000 in September and below N4,000 last year.
The high price of the product since about three months ago is caused by a supply gap following a drop in importation as the government imposed an import tax on cargo arriving in the country.
Of the 1.2 million metric tonnes, MT, of the product required for consumption in the country, the Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, supplies about 450,000MT while independent marketers supply 750,000MT through imports.
The Federal Government’s GEP was designed to make gas more attractive and accessible to the masses, thereby increasing its usage for cooking, transportation, and in industries.
However, despite this plan, prices of cooking gas have kept soaring in recent months, from about N3,500 last December to between N8,000 and N8,500 as at October, this month.
Investigations showed that the landing cost of the product has since skyrocketed as a result of a recent crisis in the foreign exchange market and the imposition of a new tax.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, (PPPRA), said out of the 85,264.80MT of LPG consumed in the country in August, 38,040.46MT were imported.
This puts the level of importation at 55.39 per cent versus 44.61 per cent supplied locally.
Further data showed that 21,606.30MT was imported from the United States, while 13,044.266 was imported from Algeria and 12,573.779MT was brought in from Equatorial Guinea.
Recent reports had marketers warning that the price of 12.5kg of the product could hit N10,000 by December if pending concerns were not addressed.
Marketers have debunked inflating prices, passing the buck of rising prices to the NLNG.
On the other hand, the NLNG claimed that marketers lacked enough infrastructure to take up its cooking gas supply, a claim also refuted by the marketers.
The Marketing Manager, NLNG, Austin Ogbogbo, had said: “NLNG has grown its capacity from 50,000 metric tonnes per annum to 450,000 metric tonnes per annum of LPG in the past 14 years.
“Nigeria needs 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum, but even the 450,000 we produce cannot be absorbed by the market’s current infrastructure.”
When asked if the NLNG’s position was true, the National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Association of Nigeria, Michael Umudu, replied in the negative.
He said: “Marketers have the capacity to absorb the 1.2 million metric tonnes annually and this figure will continue to increase.
“Marketers have the capacity; rather, the challenges of the NLNG have to do with logistics. Many depots use to be empty for months; so, why should they say marketers don’t have capacity?”
According to Ubuntu, storage of cooking gas does not end in the midstream facilities, with inland facilities such as gas plants and retail outlets having more storage capacities.
“This is how it works: LPG is discharged in a depot, and LPG trucks are ready to load products to plants. From the plants, retailers refill their cylinders and store in their shops while end-users buy.
“This means that a depot of 5,000MT storage capacity can do a turnover of 15,000MT a month or even more. So, looking at the estimated 1.2 million MT yearly demand, it shows that if NLNG supplies only 100,000MT a month, then the 1.2 million MT target is met,” he said.
He added: “If the depot of 5,000MT storage capacity can do 15,000MT a month, then calculating other depots with even much more capacities and multiplying by three for a month turnover, you will realise that these depots would do up to 150,000MT monthly.
“And going by the 1.2 million MT annual consumption demand, we only consume about 100,000MT a month. So why should NLNG say there is not enough storage?”
The gas retailers’ chairman noted that the NLNG or any other supplier did not need to supply the annual need at once, adding that this was why he called for the improvement of logistics by the LPG producer.
“With respect to logistics, if they (NLNG) can adapt to compatible vessels and engage enough of the vessels, then more than 1.2 million MT annual estimate would be conveniently met,” Umudu added.
Reacting to the position of the marketers, the spokesperson of the NLNG, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, said the gas firm could only give 450,000MT at the moment to the domestic market.
She also observed that there were challenges with logistics, such as the delay of vessels at the Lagos port, but stressed that the NLNG was doing its best to deliver its part in the supply of cooking gas.
She explained that in 2007, Nigeria could only produce 50,000MT of LPG and that the NLNG was asked to intervene, stressing that the gas firm was primarily set up for export.
“Between 2007 and now, because we have guaranteed supply, the market has grown. Today, Nigeria can take over one million tonnes of cooking gas,” Fatayi-William said.
She added: “The maximum production we have of cooking gas is 450,000 metric tonnes annually and the market did over a million metric tonnes last year.
“Also, when we talk about logistics, the maximum amount we can now give, which is the maximum production volume, is less than what the entire country needs. We are not the only producer of LPG but we can only give 450,000MT.”
Breaking: Tinubu sacks Emefiele as CBN Governor, appoints Cardoso, four other deputies
Cardoso is a former commissioner for budget and economic planning during the first term of Tinubu as the Lagos state governor Lagos.
The statement is titled, ‘President Tinubu nominates new CBN governor and management team for senate screening and confirmation.’
Tinubu also approved the nomination of four new Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, for a term of five years at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Senate.
They include Mrs. Emem Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
“In line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda, the President expects the above-listed nominees to successfully implement critical reforms at the Central Bank of Nigeria, which will enhance the confidence of Nigerians and international partners in the restructuring of the Nigerian economy toward sustainable growth and prosperity for all,” the statement added
Dr. Yemi Cardoso is a financial and development expert with over thirty years of experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
He is a member of the Belgian-based Cities Alliance Think Tank which aims to shape and influence policy and decision-making on urban development in Africa and has strong relationships with key international donor agencies.
He has his first degree from the University of Aston, United Kingdom and his second degree from Harvard University, USA.
In 2017, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in business administration by his alma mater, Aston University, in recognition of “his outstanding contributions to business and society.
Customs, 62 government agencies may lose revenue- collection functions to FIRS.
He emphasized that many MDAs, which were not originally designed for revenue collection, have been burdened with this task, diverting their focus from their core functions that are essential for economic facilitation.
“The objective is to enable organizations like Customs to concentrate on trade facilitation and border protection, and regulatory bodies like the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to focus solely on telecommunications regulation.
” This realignment will enhance efficiency, decrease collection costs, and promote transparency in revenue management.”
He acknowledged that there might be resistance from stakeholders who currently benefit from the existing process, but underscored the committee’s intention to ensure that revenues are directed to the government as intended.
Olawepo- Hashim foresees economic boom under Tinubu’s multi- pronged reform programmes
A stakeholder in Nigeria’s Energy Sector and a former Presidential Candidate, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, has predicted a phenomenal economic rebound in Nigeria owing to the current financial and economic reforms embarked on by the newly inaugurated administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the past one month.
The 2022 trade surplus of only $2.85 billion dwindles in comparison to 2014’s $54.1 billion.
Also, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria’s economy fell from $2.2 billion in 2014 to $0.47 billion in 2022, while budget deficit rose by 370.54 percent from 2016 to 2023.
Total public debt as of June 2013 was N7.93 trillion. It’s now at around N77 trillion.
But in the last one month, the President has announced two major economic reforms.
The petrol subsidies, experts agree, have strained Nigeria’s public accounts, contributing to a situation where higher global oil prices hurt, rather than help the economy.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Monday, Olawepo-Hashim noted that the current policy reforms have eliminated distortions in the foreign exchange management on the one hand; and the removal of the corrupt system of oil subsidies on the other hand.
Before now, in Nigeria, there are four foreign exchange (FX) markets: the Interbank FX market, the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, Bureau De Change (BDC) window, and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) window.
However, due to the limited FX supply from exporters and foreign investors, the CBN played a significant role in supplying FX (in this case, USD) to these windows.
Olawepo-Hashim however stated that the policy to unify the exchange windows should have a long-term positive effect on foreign exchange rate and free flow of capital in the country while also yielding a positive impact due to increased confidence in the new government.
According to him, the removal of the subsidies regime in the pricing of Petroleum products is expected to lead to more investment in Mid and Downstream sub sectors of the oil and gas sectors with a net effect of the creation of value-added needed jobs.
He stressed that the new law on decentralization of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, if properly implemented with concomitant policies, is capable of attracting about 300 billion US dollars over 5 to 7 years into the electricity sector from local and foreign financing sources.
Olawepo-Hashim equally explained that Nigeria per capital comparison with South Africa needs to generate, transmit and distribute about 200,000 MW of electricity, adding that “we can if we stay steadfast to needed reform.
“Nigeria recorded that feat before with liberalization of the telecom sector as she moved from a nation of 400,000 telephone lines in 1999 to a nation of 222 million active lines now.”
While stressing the importance of a naira exchange rate based on market indicators and informed projections to settle around 660 Naira to 1 US Dollar in the exchange market within the next 6 to 9 months, he urged the government to pay attention to immediate deployment of relevant social intervention programmes to cushion the effect of inflation on the burgeoning numbers of the poor.
He also emphasized that “our economic growth expectations must be inclusive and must not leave the majority of our people behind.
“It is a great season of hope and confidence for Nigeria. The nation is steadily on to an assured future as an economic powerhouse and great nation.”
Olawepo-Hashim argued that “Nigeria with the right policy mix will exceed the projection of Price Water Cooper that Nigeria will be the 9th largest economy in the world by 2050 adding that “we are capable of hitting the great economic Milestone predicted by PWC much earlier and climbing higher on the ladder.”
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