By Udeme Akpan
THE Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers, NALPGAM has urged the Federal Government to remove Value Added Tax, VAT on liquefied petroleum gas, popularly known as cooking gas in Nigeria.
The association that disclosed this at its recent annual general meeting, AGM, also distributed about 500 cylinders to some residents of Lagos, stressing that commercial quantity of the product will be given out in other parts of the nation in order to propagate the use of cooking gas.
Mr Nosa Ogieva-Okunbo, president of the association, explained that cooking gas is cleaner and cheaper than other cooking fuels.
He commended the government for setting up a committee to look at the issue of VAT on locally produced LPG.
Ogieva-Okunbor said the removal of VAT on the LPG supplied to marketers by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas would attract more investors and reduce importation of gas into the country, which is VAT-free.
He said the cost of purchasing the cylinders had discouraged many Nigerians from switching to cooking gas.
Ogieva-Okunbo stated: “The association decided that the best way to encourage more Nigerians to convert to the usage of the LPG is to give out free start-up package. It is significant to the economy by the time we hit our target of about five million people using the LPG in the country; it would have a ripple effect on the economy and the environment.
“Today, we started with about 500 cylinders; within the next one month, we will go to Epe because our dream is to take it to the rural areas. We are going to the rural areas so that people in those areas would start using the LPG. Between now and December, we would do it in four places in Lagos and every month, and extend it to other states.”
“We are appealing to the federal, state, local governments to support the LPG sector; they should take a little out of what they have to key into this project. We know where to go to distribute to those who need them.
“Recently, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, set up an inter-ministerial committee to look into some of the challenges we have and one of them is the VAT that is being charged on locally sourced LPG. This has made the cost of buying locally produced LPG very high. So, we are appealing to the government to remove the VAT because we want to deepen the usage of the commodity.”