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Business News of Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Source: www.punchng.com

Families suffer as kerosene price rises by 99%

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

Consumers of household kerosene, also known as cooking kerosene, paid 99 per cent more to purchase a gallon of the product in the last one year.

This is according to data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS. The statistics agency said the average retail price per gallon of cooking kerosene paid by consumers rose by 99 per cent in July 2022 from N397 in July 2021.

A gallon of cooking kerosene was sold for N790 in July 2022, according to the NBS. One gallon of the product at N790 in July indicates an increase of 3.68 per cent compared to N761.69 recorded in June 2022.

On state profile analysis, the highest average price per gallon in July 2022 was recorded in Enugu with N1,004, followed by Ekiti with N990, and Osun with N949.

On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Bayelsa with N643, followed by Benue with N655 and Rivers with N655.

In addition, analysis by zone showed that the South-West recorded the highest average retail price per gallon of the product with N901, followed by the South-East with N892 and North-Central with N762, while the South-South recorded the lowest with N727.

The average retail price per gallon of the product paid by consumers in July 2022 was N2,886, showing an increase of 7.98 per cent from N2,673 in June 2022.

On a year-on-year basis, this increased by 122 per cent from N1,302 in July 2021.

On state profile analysis, Abuja recorded the highest average retail price per gallon with N3,600, followed by Enugu with N3,501 and Ekiti with N3,450.

On the other hand, Zamfara recorded the lowest price with N2,430, followed by Borno and Gombe with N2,500 and N2,530 respectively.

Just like diesel, kerosene is a fully deregulated market in Nigeria.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has not been able to produce any drop of kerosene for a couple of years now due to the non-functionality of refineries.

Nigeria’s current daily cooking kerosene supply was put at 5 million litres out of national daily consumption requirement of 8m litres, according to a 2017 figure.

The three million litre-gap is being filled by imports by private petroleum products marketers.

Global average price of kerosene for this period is around N488 per litre.

Findings also showed that Nigeria ranks 2nd on world’s highest kerosene price list, with N762, with Seychelles selling at the highest price of N 939.

Group Chief Executive Officer, the NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, said last week that more than 70 per cent of the over 200 million Nigerian population lacked access to clean cooking fuels.

The Federal Government says it intends to deepen local gas and cooking fuel usage through its National Gas Expansion Programme.

While delivering his speech at a conference last week, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, reiterated that “Nigeria has declared gas as its transition fuel to facilitate cleaner energy utilization,” adding that the horizon for the gas-led transition was bright.

Nigeria has proven gas reserves of 206.53TCF amid an increasing level of domestic utilisation.

Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, said government’s intervention was quickly needed to bring down costs of the product for the sake of the poor masses.

“The astronomical increase in the price of cooking kerosene will further aggravate poverty situation in the country. Cooking kerosene is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It is bad enough that we are grappling with high food inflation, and now there is an additional burden of an escalating cost of means of cooking the food. So, it is very important that urgent steps are taken to intervene in bringing down the cost of cooking kerosene. This is particularly very important because of the impact of the high cost on the poor,” he said.