From Kemi Yesufu and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, yesterday, mandated its committee on Gas Resources and Petroleum Downstream to investigate the recent scarcity and reported hike in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The mandate was subsequent to a motion sponsored by Sergius Ogun, who, in his lead debate, said the price of gas has been on a constant rise, with various stakeholders in the sector trading blames.
He noted that in 2016, the price of 2.5kg of gas increased from N2,700 to between N3,500 and N4,000, depending on the vendor and the same quantity of the product is currently selling between N5,000 to N6,000.
The lawmaker argued that the lack of information as to the exact reason for the constant scarcity and hike in the price of the product has made life difficult for Nigerians, adding that citizens are now at the mercy of the players in the LPG (cooking gas) industry.
“If the reasons for the incessant hike in price and the scarcity of gas, which is locally produced without any foreign exchange components is not investigated, the citizens will be further impoverished by the exorbitant price. If not checked, the citizens can also be forced to adopt alternative but less healthy methods for cooking,” he said.
In his contribution, the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun, traced the hike in price of cooking gas to the activities of militants in the Niger Delta region. He, therefore, called for more efforts to address the restiveness in the region.
Speaking in support of the motion, Bashir Babale and Aminu Shagari said the hike in price of cooking gas, kerosene and coal was alarming as the common man cannot afford it.
The lawmakers further said National Assembly’s intervention on the situation had become imperative.