Peter Uzoho and Nitzack Nwadigwe
Marketers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) commonly known as cooking gas, have raised further concern on the Valued Added Taxes levied on gas produced in the country, calling for the federal government to remove such charges to enable the industry grow.
The marketers who made the call in Ibadan at a one day seminar organised by the Ibadan chapter of their affiliation, Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) with the theme: “Promoting a Sustainable Environment for Best Practices in LPG Marketing”, also kicked against the importation of gas products into the country.“It is a thing of shame that in Nigeria we produce gas but we are ranking low in LPG usage. One of these is attributed to this unnecessary VAT charges on gas we produce here while the imported gas is not VATed. We VAT what we produce here and you now allow some people to bring in products and you don’t VAT it, you are not making the market conducive for investors in the business,” National President, NALPGAM, Mr. NosaOgieva-Okunbor, said.Ogieva-Okunbor, however, pointed out that the major objective of the association was to deepen the usage of gas by bringing the product closer to the people. He also contended the importation of gas product into country, arguing that such amounted to wasting resources that ought to be used to fix the country’s infrastructure deficit.According to him, it is one of the challenges we are battling and I know with cooperation of members we will be able to surmount these challenges. The NALPGAM boss described the theme of the seminar as apt and most appropriate, adding that it is expected that the federal, state, and local governments produce a sustainable environment for the marketers. “It is our responsibility to ensure that the awareness of the usage of gas is brought to every Nigerian because we gain from it.”
Also lending his voice on the call to end gas importation into Nigeria, the Chief Operating Officer, ALPGAM Investments Plc, Mr. Gbenga Falusi, said there was no moral or legal justification for the importation of gas into the country.
Falusi said: “The LPG industry is becoming so dynamic; interest along the value chain of LPG is diverse and we have to leverage on them. There is no moral or legal justification that LPG should be imported into Nigeria. We should engage the government to formulate policies that will lead to the end of LPG importation into the country.”
Contributing in a panel at the event, the Managing Director of PM Gas, Mr. Ademola Akile, suggested the introduction of automation in the LPG operation, stressing that gas has gone beyond ordinary skill. “Automation is highly necessary. We need to automate our plants, secure insurance and educate our people on the use of gas for our safety,” Akile said.