By Adewale Sanyaolu

EFFORTS by the Federal Government to deepen the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) popularly called cooking gas may have suffered some setback following allegation of diversion of LPG vessels to a private terminal.

Executive Secretary of Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM), Mr. Bassey Essien, yesterday told Daily Sun that the development has led to a disruption in the LPG supply chain leading to skyrocketing prices.

He said the disruption in supply has led to a 12.5kg cylinder of gas selling for N3, 500 as against the initial price of N2, 500, warning that, if not addressed, the price could hit N4, 000 next week.

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‘‘The development has led to the gradual rise of 20 metric tonne of gas from N2.4 million to N3.5 million in a spate of one week. And that is why we are using the opportunity to alert the concerned authorities to the effect of this unpatriotic trend because if we keep quiet, the price may hit N4 million for 20 metric tonne by Friday,’’ he warned.

Essien alleged that officials of the Marine Transportation Department of the Pipelines

Products Marketing Company (PPMC) in connivance with a private gas terminal- NAFGAS owned by ALGASCO, a subsidiary of the Vitol Group, were frustrating the efforts of gas marketers to have access to cheap products.

He explained that, rather than vessels berthing and discharging at the PPMC terminal, its officials deliberately create bottlenecks that would make it extremely impossible for vessels to discharge forcing them to use the facilities of the private terminal, which in turn would use the opportunity to hike prices.