Federal Government has taken drastic step to ensure that the soaring prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise known as cooking gas was curtailed with immediate effect.
The price of cooking gas per kg rose from about N700 to above N1000 in some parts of the country.
The Minister of Petroleum (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, met with stakeholders at the weekend urging International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other producers to fulfill their domestic obligations before export.
The gas minister constituted a committee headed by the Chief Executive officer of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, with a mandate to come up with recommendations on how to boost supplies and crash LPG prices within a week.
Ekpo told gas producers that Nigeria has to find a way to surmount the challenges in the country’s domestic market, expressing President Bola Tinubu’s concerns over how unaffordable the product was becoming.
The key challenges responsible for LPG price increase, according to Ekpo, include forex sourcing for imports and insufficient supply to the domestic market by producers.
Ekpo expressed the concerns of President Bola Tinubu over the astronomical increase in the price of cooking gas and the attendant hardship on majority of citizens.
The minister, who noted that Nigeria is abundantly endowed with gas reserves, said the situation where some of the multinational firms were more concerned with gas exports without dedicating huge volumes for the domestic market was unacceptable and should be discouraged.
“With the exponential increase in the price of LPG, there is the need for the federal government to intervene and I am representing this at this moment. We acknowledge that some producers are exporting while we are faced with the challenges of importation.
“Public interest is the overriding interest all over the world for the government, the demand for LPG will increase as we approach December…you have a public service obligation to collaborate with the government to ensure security of gas supply.
“We need to therefore bend backwards and find solutions, to ensure that we have sufficient supply and stability in-country and that Nigerians have gas,” he said.
The meeting, at the instance of the minister, was held at the NNPC Towers and had in attendance top officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited led by Sansay Narasimi.
Others included: The Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) led by its Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed and officials from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and others