Many residents of Benin have decried the hike in price of cooking gas, which now sells for N1,400 per kilogramme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the development has led to hardship as the residents are finding it difficult to cope.
A kilogramme of gas that sold for N1,000, two months ago in some parts of the city, increased to N1,100 in January, 2024 and now sells for N1,400.
Mrs Ekata Ogieva, a cooking gas vendor said that the recent increment in the price of cooking gas was due to short supply.
“We bought 50kg of cooking gas for N45,000 a week ago, but it has gone up to N60,000. In 2023 December, we bought 50kg cooking gas for N44,000.
“The painful situation is that we can only get about 45kg of gas from the 50kg gas cylinder after sales, so we do not make enough profit.
“We are losing our customers due to the incessant hike in price of cooking gas. Some persons have resulted to firewood and charcoal,’’ she said.
Mrs Loveth Osunde, a mother of three, also told NAN that families were finding it difficult to put food on the table, noting that the sudden spike in cooking gas price was crippling the already strained budget.
“We can barely make ends meet as it is, the rising gas prices only add to our financial woes, making it even harder to provide for our children.’’
According to Mr Raymond Omobude, a civil servant, workers are not smiling because the burden of higher gas prices eats into their hard-earned wages and salaries.
“I used to rely on cooking gas to prepare meals for my family, but with the recent price hike, I am forced to explore alternative, like the use of firewood, though it is not also cheap, just to make ends meet,’’ he said.
Operators of eateries and food stalls are finding it difficult to cope, as it has increased their operating cost. .
Mrs Sarah Obioma, a restaurant owner said that the increase had translated to higher operational costs, jeopardising their profitability and threatening the livelihoods of their employees.
“Food business is competitive and we are already struggling to stay afloat in the business, the surge in gas prices only adds insult to injury, making it harder to sustain our business.
“Things are just so expensive, I don’t know why the gas we produce in the country will keep be so expensive,’’ she said.
On his part, Mr Felix Aliyu, a welder said artisans relied on gas for welding and other essential tasks of their trade
“We are grappling with the effects of the price surge.
“Gas is indispensable to my work, but with each refill costing more than before, I am forced to pass on the added expenses to my customers, many of whom are already struggling to afford my service,’’ Aliyu said.
He called on the government to roll out more palliatives and other forms of intervention to address the soaring cost of gas. (NAN)