Kerosene price increases as scarcity bites harder

unnamedNigerians are beginning to turn to firewood and coal as the scarcity of kerosene, used by millions of largely poor Nigerians for cooking, has hit major cities causing huge increase in price.

Three of the most affected cities are Kaduna and Zaria in Kaduna State and Calabar in Cross River State.
In Kaduna, none of the filling stations in the state capital on Saturday had kerosene (DPK) for sale.
In one of the stations, the attendants said the scarcity began on January 2 as they got no supply from Lagos and Kaduna Refinery.
“We have no supply of DPK since the 2nd of this month. The one you see our vendors selling they bought since Christmas,” the attendant said.
In Calabar, the scarcity has led to an increase in price to between N350 and N400 per litre from less than N300 per litre.
A survey has showed that the product was not available in any filling station in the Cross River capital and its suburbs.
However, the product was available only in surface tanks in parts of the city, where dealers sold it at N350 per litre.
The survey revealed also that the itinerant retailers sold the commodity between N380 and N400 per litre, depending on the area.
In Kaduna, the kerosene scarcity has led to a 30 per cent increase in price of cooking gas.
At the popular gas vendor station on Ali Akilu Road Kaduna, a seller attributed the price hike to the scarcity of kerosene.
“From yesterday, we started noticing more people coming to buy gas. And because of the sudden demand, some of us started to increase the prices and yet people are buying.
“Before this morning to be precise, we used to refill the 12kg cylinder for N3,500, but now some people refill it for N4,200. So it goes for all the other cylinders,” the trader said.
In its reaction to the scarcity, the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Saturday said there was no drop of kerosene in the private and NNPC depots in Lagos.
Rotimi Benjamin, National Chairman of Surface Tank Kerosene Peddlers (SUTAKEP) said that the product was last brought to the depot on December 27, 2016.
He urged the government to come to the aid of the masses who could not afford cooking gas, by supplying kerosene to the depots so that it would be available in filling stations.
In Calabar, Esue Obi, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Calabar Depot, attributed the scarcity to lack of supply.
“As I speak, there is no kerosene in Calabar depot and all the tank farms in the state, Akwa Ibom and Rivers. Those having the product now travelled to Lagos to buy it.
“So, when they add the cost of transportation and other sundry expenses, the price must be high; that is the situation now.
“Importers are complaining of lack of foreign exchange. So, we don’t know when the product will be available,” Mr. Esue said.
Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Public Affairs, NNPC said most marketers have refused to import kerosene due to the scarcity of dollars and the fluctuating crude oil prices.
He said NNPC had no control over marketers as that is responsibility of PPPRA and DPR.
He said NNPC Mega stations sell at controlled price, but refused to give the exact official price.

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