By Chibisi Onyeka, in Abuja
Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has called for the full domestication of LPG to guard against price manipulations at the international market.
The group has also urged the federal government to remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) on cooking gas explaining that the removal would attract more investors into the business and also increase the use of cooking gas in the country.
NALPGAM argued that allocation of 350,000 metric tonnes (MT) of LPG for domestic consumption is too little, whereas the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) produces four million MT of gas annually.
In a statement, Bassey Essien, the association executive secretary, said gas marketers and plant operators were not behind the increment but had always advocated for an affordable price of cooking gas in Nigeria.
He blamed the international cost of the product on the interplay of foreign exchange rates, for the hike in the price. “We, as marketers, are saying that NLNG and others producing LPG should domesticate it by dedicating sufficient quantity that will cover our domestic consumption.
“We have watched the continuous spike in the price of cooking gas, moving from N4 million to N5 million for a 20MT truck to the current price of N5.3 million within a month interval.
“The current high price of cooking gas is not traceable to marketers (plant owners) or terminal owners, but rather, to the vagaries of the international price of the commodity and interplay of foreign exchange rates,” he said
Appealing to the federal government for the removal of Value Added Tax on LPG, the group explained that step would attract more investors into the business and also increase the use of cooking gas in the country.
Essien stressed the removal of VAT on LPG and reduction of import duties on the equipment. “Government must provide an enabling environment to attract more investors by removing VAT on LPG.
“It is a shame that despite being blessed with enormous gas, Nigeria has not been able to make huge money from the sector because of unfriendly policies. All we want the government to do for us now is to remove VAT. This will deepen the LPG consumption in the country,” he said