15% VAT increase made cooking price high – Marketers

To increase the patronage of made in Nigeria cooking, liquefied petroleum gas marketers are canvassing for the removal of the value added tax (VAT) from the product.

They urged the federal government to beam its searchlight on marketers responsible for arbitrary increase in the price of cooking gas.

Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers complained that charging of VAT on locally produced LPG is raising the cost of the cooking gas.

The price of 12.5kilogramme cylinder of cooking gas has risen from N3,600 in April to between N4,200 and N4,300 currently in some markets.

He noted that the price of gas had jumped by 15 per cent in less than two weeks.

According to him, the price of 20 metric tonnes (about 35,000 litres) of LPG, which was N4 million three weeks ago, increased to N4.6 million last week.

The association’s president, Mr Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, speaking in Lagos said it is imperative to develop effective policies to encourage investors to come into the LPG sector to deepen market penetration, boost the country’s economy and protect the environment.

Ogieva-Okunbor said it was a shame that Nigeria remained one of the lowest consumers of LPG despite the enormous natural gas reserves in the country.

“About three weeks ago, we were in Abuja for the harmonisation of the new LPG policy so that it can hit the ground running. But three weeks after, this cabal started increasing the price of LPG.

“Within two weeks, the price of LPG has increased by 15 per cent. What came into our minds is why is it now that the federal government is trying to make LPG available by creating a robust policy that these people are trying to kill the NLNG’s LPG programme and monopolise the market? NLNG ship will come and stay for three days without seeing any space to discharge. Another question is why is imported gas cheaper than locally produced gas? Who is behind it? Why is it that VAT is not paid on imported gas but is paid on NLNG product? You said that you want to encourage the use of cooking gas in Nigeria but the one produced in our backyard is more expensive than the imported gas,” Ogieva-Okunbor explained.

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