Nigerians have been given to improvisations since the turn of inflation and the economic crisis.
Most of the improvisations have saved them money and helped to keep heads above water.
However, the new way of boycotting the high cost of cooking gas cylinders may cost lives than it can save money.
Economy&Lifestyle discovered that the cost of gas cylinders has risen so high that it becomes difficult for average homes to afford and still fill them with gas.
The situation becomes worse when considering that the pump price of kerosene, which would have been an alternative, is prohibitive.
Checks show that the price of cylinders varies according to the sizes. A 3kg gas cylinder costs N14,000, 5kg-N16,000 6kg – N17,000 and 12.5kg costs N19,000. Filling the cylinders with cooking gas also costs N2,600 for 3kg, N5,200 for 6kg, N8,950 for 10.5kg and N10,650 for 12.5 kg.
This means that an average home with a worn-out 5kg will need N20,250 to buy a new one and fill it, which is hard to come by.
So, the resolve is to refurbish the old ones and still manage them. However, that is where the danger is.
Mrs. Rukayat Adesoji, a trader, said her gas cylinder got rusted and no longer stands erect since last month, but due to high cost of purchasing the cylinders, she took it to a welder who patched the legs, repainted it, and since then, she has been using it.
“My gas cylinder which was 6kg got rusted and no longer stands erect since last month. When I asked for the price, I was told it was N17, 500. I was discussing it with a friend who advised me to take it to a welder to paint it and construct a new stand. I heeded to her advice and at the end spent just N3, 000 to turn my cooking gas to a brand new.”
Apart from refurbishing cylinders, some people don’t even know when their cylinders will expire. Mrs. Mercy Opara, a hair stylist, fell in that category as she explained: “I am taking my gas cylinder to the welder to spray it for me. It just cost N1, 500. The cost of buying a new cylinder is high. I have been using my cylinder for over 7 years and I don’t even know the expiry date. I just pray God blesses me so that I can buy a new one. But this one I am managing will look neat after spraying it for another two years.”
Mr. Adekanbi Joseph, a wielder, said he paints cylinder and “To paint and rebuild a cylinder stand, I charge N4, 500. Many people come here to paint as a new cylinder is now very expensive to get.”
Explaining the danger in using refurbished cylinders, The Chief Executive Officer, FKT Cooking gas and general goods, Mr. Benjamin Hope said: “A brand new cylinder can explode if the locks are not well keyed after using and if the cylinder filled with gas was moved from one place.
“There are many reasons for the high cost of gas cylinders in Nigeria. One is the cost of importation due to the exchange rate. Another is the increased migration from the use of kerosene to cooking gas which has necessitated increased demand for gas cylinders.
“You know that in such a case there will be increased importation of cylinders.”