Rising cost of cooking gas worries environment minister as more Nigerians turn to firewood cooking

The minister has not provided a clear strategy for how the government will combat the hike.

Sharon Ikeazor (left) says the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari (right) is committed to providing Nigerians with safe cooking options [Presidency]

The Federal Government is concerned about the hike in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) used for cooking by Nigerians.

Gas rates have spiked exponentially over the past year, with many citizens raising alarm over their inability to keep up.

The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, said at a media briefing on Thursday, November 25, 2021 that she is concerned about the hike.

"I am extremely worried because the rate of firewood cutting has increased," she told journalists at the Presidential Villa.

Last month, the average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder for LPG increased by 9.61% month-on-month and by 34.51% year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The average price for the refilling of a 12kg cylinder increased from N4,154 last December to N6,638 last month.

Ikeazor said the inflation has impacted deforestation as more people are turning to firewood cooking.

She said this trend is concerning as Nigeria already has the highest number of smoke-related deaths globally.

"We must give them (Nigerians) alternative, clean cooking," she said.

The minister did not provide a clear strategy for how the government will combat the problem, but promised to have a conversation with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources headed by the president.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said earlier this week there's little the Federal Government can do about the price of cooking gas because it's determined by international market forces.

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