Umuahia – The price of refilling cooking gas in Umuahia, the Abia capital, has skyrocketed, ahead of this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
A survey carried out in Abia showed that the price went up by more than 30 per cent.
At a popular gas depot, the price of 25kg went up from N7, 000 to N9, 000, while 50kg rose from N14, 000 to N18, 000.
The price of 13kg also went up from 3,500 to N4, 500, while 8kg, which previously sold for N2, 300 now sells for N3, 100.
The situation is worse at the retail outlets where 50kg sells for N22, 000 as against N15, 000, while 25kg went up from N5, 000 to N11, 400.
The price of 12.5kg, 10kg, 8kg, 7kg, 5kg and 3kg also went up by about 40 per cent and now sells for N5, 700; N4, 700; N3, 700; N3, 400; N2, 700; and N2, 200, respectively.
Some of the dealers, who spoke on the development, attributed the hike to its scarcity and the high cost of the product at the Lagos refinery.
An attendant at the depot, situated at Isi-Court, Umuahia, said on the condition of anonymity that “the cost of transporting the product had gone up.’’
“Our expenses went up astronomically,’’ he said, adding that “the drivers’ out-of-pocket expenses have been increased from N35, 000 to N50, 000,’’ he said.
He said that the price of diesel also went up, pointing out that the drivers were usually given money for 800 litres of diesel for their trips to and fro.
An attendant at a retail shop on Ojike Street, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, blamed the situation on “major dealers and wholesalers’’.
She said “major dealers are hoarding the product thus creating artificial scarcity and the resultant price hike.
“Our price was fixed based on how we bought the product from the major dealers and wholesalers,’’ she said. (NAN)