IPeople in Nigeria often lack access to most products derived from the country’s abundant natural resources. A good example is a gas. Research showed that Nigeria is even more of a gas-producing country than oil, ranking 9th largest gas deposit globally, with over 207 million cubic feet of gas which it flares and wastes every day.
With the abundance of deposits in the country, it is surprising that the masses cannot afford to buy standard 5kg cylinders for domestic use due to the constant increase in the price of the commodity.
Olatunbosun Oladapo, National President of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, explained the remote and immediate causes of the country’s gas shortage, which has resulted in a rise in commodity prices. “Nigeria has abundant gas deposits, but production is insufficient,” he said.
Oladapo, a guest on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show,’ explained why there isn’t enough gas being produced, resulting in a price increase.
“The issue is that, unlike the Western world, Nigerians did not use gas years ago due to fear and poor enlightenment.
“Now we’re talking about a population of 240 million people, which is more than four African countries put together. If 15 or 20% of these people decide to switch to gas, the question is whether or not the gas will be available.
“Because the demand was low and people could get it locally, we did what we did before: when NLNG came on board, with due respect to President Obasanjo, who gazetted it, NLNG began supplying gas to local production.”
“The NLNG’s production was sufficient at the time, but as the population grew and more people switched to gas, we began to have problems.” We used to have 550 metric tons per year; today, Nigeria is presently on 1250 metric tons per year.
“We can go up to 5 million metric tonnes per year,” he says, “but what we produce locally is so insufficient right now, and when that was the case earlier, we supplemented with imports.”
“About 60% of the gas consumed in this country is imported from Algeria, America, Central Africa, and other countries,” Oladapo revealed.
“We want the gas we use to be produced in this country, but we’re not because meeting demand will be impossible since all our four refineries are shut down.” He argued that importation is the only way to fill the large deficit in local production.
“Now that we have forex, exchange of forex, and devaluation of our currency, importation becomes an issue; the dollar has actually gone up against the naira and has become pricey, and there’s no official window for gas,” he says.” As a result, consumers buy on the black market and factor it into their costing model.”
According to Oladapo, the government has also recently implemented several other taxes.
Consumers, in the end, are the ones who bear the brunt of high prices if you were hoping for a reduction in the price of cooking gas anytime soon; Sorry for the disappointment. “The price increase hasn’t slowed down; in fact, it will continue to increase due to artificial shortage. The country’s storage facilities are now depleted, and there is no gas “.
He revealed that the primary concern of the association is the impact of the rising cost of gas on Nigerians. He noted, “Those who have put money into this business are now suffering as a result of low patronage. People are moving away from gas in favor of other options, which aren’t healthy.
You’ll agree with me that the solution reached in Glasgow, the recently-completed summit, was to end deforestation by 2030.
“If we don’t provide gas, Nigeria would be unable to comply because people will walk into the jungle and cut down trees.” They’re consuming less gas these days. Even what we call processed wood charcoal is a byproduct of deforestation.”
“As a result, the money spent on afforestation campaigns will be wasted in 5 years. Erosion will set in, wreaking havoc on the environment. In addition, the charcoal or wood affects users’ eyes and lungs, resulting in health difficulties “.
A part of the solutions he proffered is that the government needs to suspend charges on import gas pending the time the country can produce domestically. He said it would take another 5 to 7 years because while the population grows, refineries are not working. “We still have a large gas deposit, but we need investors, and we need to establish a market that is affordable to attract them.”
“Life will be more meaningful if gas is affordable. Although the price will not be as low as it once was, it will be better than what we currently have.”
“As of today, a 12.5kg sells for 10,000 depending on the location, and it’s going up. Twenty metric tonnes LPG now is sold for 11.6million as against 3.8 million which was the price in January”.
Sadly, Oladapo stated that the rising price will worsen as December approaches and that “if there is no intervention now, Nigerians will find it difficult to live a good life by December, January. Now the importation window is closed; nobody is bringing gas into the country, and what we produce here is insufficient.”