Marketers of cooking gas on Wednesday blamed its increasing prices on massive importation, causing anguish to end users.

Residents of Nsukka town in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State have expressed worry over the recent hike in the price of cooking gas.

Speaking in separate interviews with newsmen in Nsukka on Monday, the people said the continued rise in the price of the commodity had further worsened the economy of many families.

A housewife, Mrs Blessing Ezema, expressed surprise that a 12.5-kg cylinder she refilled with N4500 in December, now costs N5000, while 6.5kg previously sold for N2000, now costs N2500.

“I am surprised over this astronomical increase in the price of the commodity,” Ezema said.

She appealed to the Federal Government to urgently intervene since the development was attributed to the high foreign exchange rate.

She said she might return to the kerosene stove if the cost remained high after exhausting her last refill.

“The problem with kerosene stove is that it stains the pot and does not cook fast like gas.

“Government should please intervene immediately before the situation gets out of hand,” she said.

A restaurant operator, Mrs Philomina Ozioko, said the price hike had affected her business, adding that she was spending a lot on cooking gas.

A civil servant, Mrs Vivian Ike, described the situation as very worrisome and urged the government to intervene to put an end to it.

“Nigerians have yet to recover from the hardship caused by COVID-19 pandemic, which crippled many businesses and rendered many people jobless.

“Without cooking gas, many families will not be able to get food on their table.

“Government should intervene to save Nigerians from further exploitation by cooking gas dealers,” Ike said.

A cooking gas dealer in the town, Mr Nnamdi Ikemefuna, blamed the unfortunate situation on the failure by the Central Bank of Nigeria to create a dedicated window for foreign exchange for the importation of cooking gas.

“Importers of cooking gas source foreign exchange at high price and this affects the price of the product.

“The cost of importation dictates the price it gets to consumers because no importer runs a charitable organisation,” he said.

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