The Federal Government has said the price of cooking gas, like crude oil price, was being determined by global markets hence it has no control over.
It, however, assured that efforts were being made to reduce the price to bearable level before Yuletide season.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, 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), Faruk Ahmed and the CEO, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe.
He said the president was equally concerned about the rising price of cooking gas.
“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.
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“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 incentivise 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.
“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’re doing everything trying to see how we can bring down the price of gas especially as we approached the yuletide.”
Asked what the government was doing to tackle the oil spillage in Nembe, Bayelsa State, and respond to their demands In relief materials, Sylva said that President Buhari has directed that he should visit the community on Wednesday to assess the situation.
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