Marketers insist on VAT removal

The Department of Petroleum Resources has said delivery of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise called cooking gas, to consumers in their homes, is illegal as it defies environment and safety rules. The agency said such acts were susceptible to explosion, as people who undertake such ventures cannot guarantee the presence of accident triggers like fire and intense heat, among others.

The Operations Controller, Ibadan Office, DPR, Yemi Olaonipekun, said this at the seminar of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) Ibadan Chapter.

Speaking on the theme: “Promoting a Sustainable Environmental for Best Practices in LPG Marketing, Olaonipekun said the DPR was worried about the proliferation of LPG plants, as in most cases, safety and standards were being compromised.Representative  of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria also hinted that the agency might come after plant operators who undertake cylinder-to-cylinder transfer of LPG.

Marketers of the product also expressed further concern over the Valued Added Taxes levied on LPG produced in the country, while calling on the Federal Government to remove such charges to enable the industry grow. They also decried the importation of gas products into the country, saying: “It is a thing of shame that Nigeria, a huge producer of gas, still ranks very low in LPG usage.

“We are meant to pay VAT on LPG produced locally while the imported ones are VAT-free. With this, we are not making the market conducive for local investors in the business.” National President, NALPGAM, Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, said 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 waste of resources that ought to have been used to fix the country’s infrastructure deficit. He said: “This is one of the challenges we are battling and I know with cooperation of members we will be able to surmount these challenges.

“The theme of the seminar as apt and most appropriate as it is our responsibility to ensure that the awareness on the usage of gas is brought to every Nigerian while the federal, state and local governments provide the enabling environment for the business.”Also calling for an end to LPG 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 the product into the country.

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,” Falusi stressed.

Source: The Guardian (28 November 2018)

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