Some residents of the South East Zone of the country have vowed to resort to firewood and charcoal if prices of cooking gas continue to soar.
They called on the Federal Government to address the current hike in the price of cooking gas to ease the sufferings on the people.
According to the reports, 12.5kg cylinder which was sold for N6,800 in September, had increased to between N7,800 and N8,000 depending on locations.
It was also observed that a 6kg cylinder, that previously sold for N2,900, had gone up to N4200 in less than a month.
NAN check in some gas plants in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States showed that the price of cooking gas had increased by more than 50 per cent.
A manager of one of the gas plants in Awka, who pleaded anonymity told NAN that the hike was as a result of the current devaluation of the naira.
He said “You know gas is refined and imported into the country, therefore, the price is dominated by the dollar. So, the more the naira is devalued, the higher the prices will continue to rise,”
A resident of a gas plant in Awka, who identified himself as Mr Smart Okongi, said that the continued rise in the price of cooking gas was alarming adding that the increase was being felt by many Nigerians.
Mr Okongi said
“As a civil servant with no increment in salary, it is now becoming very difficult keeping up with the everyday rise in prices of food stuff, transportation, rent and now cooking gas.
“This development is sad because our country is endowed with natural gas. I also blame the Federal government for its inability to control the price in the open market.
”I appeal to the government to reduce or have a fixed price for cooking gas to alleviate our sufferings,” .
Another resident, Mrs Helen Aniaso, a caterer, said that the daily rise in price of cooking gas was impacting on her business negatively.
“It is frustrating because for every time we go to refill, the price increases. It is affecting my business in terms of productivity and profit.
“We have increased the prices of the food we sell just to meet up, but we are loosing customers because many of them cannot afford to pay.
“It is not also cheaper resorting to kerosene, charcoal, or firewood because their prices too have increased.
“The government should come to our aid before our sources of livelihood collapse, ”.
A businessman in Onitsha, mr Mr Adolphus Egwu expressed fears that the price of 12.5kg gas cylinder might increase to N10,000 by December if the government did not act quickly.
“This practice of gas sellers is highly unfair to users, considering the economic situation in the country. Because of this hike, a plate of food rose from about N400 or N500 to N800 or N1,000?
“I appeal to the relevant regulatory agencies, to halt this practice by monitoring and checking the excesses of the sellers,”.
Some gas dealers in the zone blamed the development to increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) to the petroleum products, high demand of gas and naira devaluation.