The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Saturday said there was no drop of kerosene in the private and NNPC depots in Lagos.
Rotimi Benjamin, National Chairman Surface Tank Kerosene Peddlers (SUTAKEP) Branch of NUPENG told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the product was last brought to the depot on Dec.27.
Mr. Benjamin, who is also the Vice Chairman NUPENG Lagos Zonal Council, said the scarcity of kerosene has increased the price, making it unaffordable for the masses.
He urged the government to come to the aid of masses who could not afford the price of cooking gas by providing kerosene to the depots so that it would be available in the filling stations.
“It is very sad that things are going on this way, for the past two weeks, there is no supply of kerosene to any of the depots in Lagos.
“The two refineries have not produced kerosene. This has made the marketers that have the product in their stations to increase it by over 60 per cent.
“This is not the right time for our refineries to stop kerosene production, everybody can not depend on gas.
“The common man cannot afford the price of cylinder and cooking gas. Our mothers in the village depend on kerosene, an essential household commodity to cook.
“Government should not just sit down watching the masses suffering, they should address the issue and make the product available,” he said.
NAN correspondent who visited some filling stations observed that most of the stations did not have the product in the stock.
Few filling stations that had kerosene were selling the product between N285 and N300 per litre.
Meanwhile, some kerosene consumers in Lagos have appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the masses by providing the product at a reduced price adding that the sharp increase has made life very difficult for them.
Moradeyo Adisa, a widow who resides at No 10, Abeokuta Street, Ilasamaja said she bought a bottle of kerosene for N250 to cook food.
Mrs. Adisa said the product was sold for N300 per litre in filling station against a former price of N180.
She urged the government to do something about it, adding that life was becoming unbearable for the masses.
Another consumer, Kikelomo Joseph, a 67-year-old food vendor at Agege, said she had turned to firewood to cook her food because kerosene was expensive.
“Instead of spending over N3,000 on kerosene to prepare food for my customers, I have adjusted to firewood because it is a bit cheaper.
“Since our government is not ready to help us in reducing the price of kerosene like they did in petrol, we have to find an alternative in firewood to survive.”