We Have Reverted to Using Charcoal, Woman Who Couldn't Afford Kerosene, Gas Laments

We Have Reverted to Using Charcoal, Woman Who Couldn't Afford Kerosene, Gas Laments

  • Nigerians are not finding the ever-skyrocketing inflation easy as most households in the country complain that it it crippling
  • Household incomes erode faster as the price of commodities especially energy costs are at all-time high
  • Experts say that the Nigerian government should also deregulate the price of cooking gas seeing that Nigeria is one the highest producers of the commodity in the world

For Janet Okorobia, life has reverted to primitive ways due to high inflation ravaging the globe, especially in Nigeria where headling inflation is at 17.71 per cent.

The mother of five who used to cook with a Kerosene stove only switched to cooking gas seven months ago as the commodity became deregulated in Nigeria.

Inflation, Gas, Nigeria
Woman looking downcast Credit: Jasmin Merdan
Source: Getty Images

Price of cooking gas goes out of control

Initially, Kerosene was less cost-effective than gas which seems to last longer, cooks faster and is easier to manage. She said things were going smoothly until two months ago when, out of nowhere, the price of the product skyrocketed out of control, she said.

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The alternative, according to Okoro, was to find a cheap way of cooking, meaning she had to return to using charcoal in order to survive and sustain her family.

The Imo State indigene who lives in Lagos told Legit.ng that her husband drives a tricycle while she trades in food stuff in the Ishaga area of Lagos.

She said:

"When we started using cooking gas, we heaved some sighs of relief as we saw the difference between gas and kerosene which was becoming very exorbitant.
"Before, with N1,900 we could fill a 6kg of cooking gas. Soon the price inched to N3,000 and finally, it is now at N5,000. And the most the gas could last is just 3 weeks which is okay, meaning every two months, we would cough out N10,000 for a 12 kg of gas."

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Most Nigerians are whining about the price of cooking gas which has not just gone up but, in most states in Nigeria is unavailable.

Inflation is a global trend but...

Nnamani Joseph, an energy policy analyst in a telephone interview with Legit.ng, said that inflation is a global phenomenon but has been worsened in Nigeria because the country was already battling double-digit inflation.

He said that most household income erodes faster as incomes become inadequate because of inflation.

Joseph said:

“Nigerians were having inflation before it became global. Global inflation began when Russia invaded Ukraine unjustly and that drove energy costs up. Look at the price of bread. Because of the conflict in Ukraine, wheat which is an important ingredient in bread is scarce because Ukraine is one of the highest producers of the commodity in the world.”

For cooking gas, 12.5 kilogrammes of cooking gas sold for N7,500, now sells for over N10,000 in some states in Nigeria. This has excluded households like the Okorobias.

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Energy cost dives out of control

Also, the cost of transportation has shot up as most transport operators battle both diesel and petrol price increases in Nigeria.

Joseph said that despite the fact that Nigeria subsidises petrol and most petroleum products, it has not helped as most states battle with a high cost of transport fares.

He said:

In big cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano, it is not funny. The cost is high because most of the transporters are battling the high cost of petrol and diesel.

Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said inflation in the country stands at 17.71 per cent in a report released in May 2022.

NBS said that Consumer Price Index (CPI) stands at 0.22 per cent.

Vanguard reports that the urban inflation rate increased to 18.24 per cent on a year-on-year basis in May 2022.

The way forward

That means households in Nigeria are battling serious inflation which has not been seen in the last decade.

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Nigerians are waiting with bated breath for the Nigerian government to rise to the occasion and put measures in place to bring down inflation.

Joseph said that though inflation is a global phenomenon, it appears that the economy in Nigeria is on auto pilot with no clear directive from the government on how things should be.

Joseph said:

“Take the price of gas for instance. Nigeria is one of the highest producers of gas in the world. We have no business buying it at a high price. Deregulate the product so it becomes accessible and affordable to Nigerians.”

List of states with the highest cost price of cooking gas revealed

Legit.ng report that the average retail price for cooking gas increased by 83.62 percent from N2057.71 in March 2021, according to a new report by the National Bureau of Statistics.

According to the report titled, “Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) Price Watch (March 2022),” the average price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) stood at N3778.30 in March 2022, from N3708.58 recorded in February 2022, showing an increase of 1.88 percent month-on-month.

The Punch reports that analysis by the NBS indicates the list of states with the highest price for refilling cooking gas.

Source: Legit.ng

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