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Marketers blame high price of cooking gas on VAT, cabals

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The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has attributed increase in price of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also called cooking gas, to high Value Added Tax (VAT) on local production and inability to berth LPG vessels at the ports.

The average price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder increased by 0.36 per cent from N4,253.73 in March to N4,268.95 in April.

The NALPGAM president, Mr. Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, who gave the reasons for the high price of cooking gas, said the removal of VAT would help to reduce the price, and decried a situation whereby Nigeria, with its abundant gas resources, remained one of the lowest consumers of LPG in global ranking.

Besides, he said some groups of LPG importers have monopolised the use of the jetties to make it difficult for gas off-takers to discharge their LPG vessels.

He said: “We are appealing to the Federal Government to remove VAT to deepen LPG consumption in Nigeria. The import duty should be drastically reduced. When this is done, more investors will come into the market massively and that will help bring down the cost of cooking gas.”

Ogieva-Okunbor also cautioned the Federal Government to check the activities of some cabals, whom he said, were frustrating the new gas policy on domestic use of LPG, saying: “A deliberate policy was put in place by the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas (NLNG) to supply the Nigerian market with more of their products. NLNG has made efforts to remove the bottleneck in the supply of LNG by increasing the jetties at the ports, but the cabals have continuously made it impossible for vessels to berth at the terminals.

“It now takes more than three weeks for NLNG vessel to berth. Now, it is far cheaper to import cooking gas compared to buying from NLNG with high VAT attached to it.”

He said though it is the desire of marketers that LPG becomes a culture for powering the kitchen and a culture for automobile fuel but the issue of VAT is affecting the marketers and also the price of LPG.

According to him, these cabals are only concerned about profit maximisation and not working for the interest of cooking gas consumers in Nigeria.


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