Muda Yusuf, an economist and former Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has described the recent hike in price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as inimical to the drive to promote the use of clean energy and protect the environment.
Mr Yusuf said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday while reacting to the continuous increase in LPG (cooking gas) price.
NAN reports that the hike started in April 2021 when gas per kilogramme was sold for between N280 and N300 but the price later rose to N750 per.
Currently 20 tonnes of LPG is sold for more than N9.5 million against N4 million sold before the hike. A 12.5 kg cylinder of gas is sold at N9,300 as against N8,500 two weeks ago.
Mr Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer of Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprises, warned that there could be a relapse of accelerated deforestation if the spike was not checked.
He said it was noteworthy that significant progress was made in getting a good percentage of the population to transition from the use of firewood and kerosene to use of LPG.
He said although the campaign had won a lot of converts even in many villages but the spike in LPG price may reverse the gains and it would not augur well for the preservation of the environment.
“We may see a relapse of accelerated deforestation if the spike if not checked. The sharp increase in price of LPG also has implication for poverty. This is making access to food more difficult,” he said.
“It is bad enough that food has become very expensive. Now the cost of cooking the food has become prohibitive. This is a case of double jeopardy for the average citizen.
“Gas pricing needs to reflect the reality that we are a gas producing country.
“We should leverage the huge gas resources to make gas more accessible to the common man. The huge gas reserves should ordinarily also offer an opportunity for us to leapfrog in our industrialisation drive and environmental protection.
“We cannot be exporting gas while there is acute scarcity in the country. There should be some balance in this regard,’’ he said.
NAN gathered that the oil and gas stakeholders recently met with government representatives and regulatory agencies to come up with suitable option to adopt in order to crash the gas prices.
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