Cost of re-filling a cooking gas cylinder, of whatever kilogramme in Nigeria, may not be coming down soon as expected by its users.
This is according to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who, while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, said, cooking gas is a deregulated commodity influenced by market forces; especially, the international market.
Sylva said, consequent upon this, the Federal Government may not be able to determine the price per kg of cooking gas across the country, since the product is not subsidized or regulated by the government.
“So, the price of cooking gas is not determined by the government, or by anybody in the industry. In fact, gas prices are determined internationally.”
Minister Sylva also highlighted the issue of VAT, (Value Added Tax), as it is affecting the price, and scarcity of cooking gas.
He said, apart from the earlier mentioned reasons, “there are some issues around VAT charges on imported gas,” which the Minister said the government is trying to handle.
Timipre Sylva added that, if the government “incentivize importation too much,” then the local industry will be grossly affected.
He assured Nigerians that, the “midstream and downstream regulatory authorities” are working together to see to how the challenges could be better resolved; while also emphasizing that, President Buhari concerns over the recent hike in price of cooking gas, even as the Yuletide season approaches.