… says prices of the commodity are being determined by global markets
By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
With the rise in the prices of cooking gas unabatedly for several months, the Federal Government says it has no control over the rising prices of the commodity as it is being determined by global markets.
It, however, assured that efforts were being made to reduce the prices to bearable level for Nigerians before the Yuletide.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, where he formally presented the CEO, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA), Mr Faruk Ahmed and the CEO, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr Gbenga Komolafe.
Checks by Persecondnews.com reveal that the price of cooking gas has been rising consistently for the past two months as 12kg gas which sold between N4,000 to N4,500 now sells between N8,800 to N10,000.
According to Sylvia, President Muhammadu Buhari is equally concerned about the rising prices of cooking gas.
“The government has no control over the price increase, hence cannot subsidize the product as it was fully deregulated.
“We must understand that cooking gas is not subsidized. It is already a deregulated commodity. So the price of cooking gas is not determined by government or by everybody in the industry. In fact, gas prices are determined internationally.
“And you all are aware that in Europe, today, gas prices have gone up, there was even crisis in Europe relating to gas prices.
“So the pricing of gas internationally now affects also the price of gas in the country.
“Apart from that, there are some issues around VAT charges on imported gas, and of course, taxes on imported gas, which we are handling. But of course, quite frankly, these taxes on imported gas, you must also juxtapose it side by side with the local producers of gas.
“So if you incentivize the importance too much, then you will also kill the local industry. And also, you don’t want to incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, because if incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, then you will not have enough gas produced within the country,” the minister said.
“So, these are the issues of balancing that the midstream and downstream regulatory authority are handling and I want to assure you that we are quite concerned.
“Mr. President also is very concerned. He is aware that the price of gas is high in the market, and we are doing everything trying to see how we can bring down the price of gas especially as we approached the Yuletide,” Sylva promised.