The Petroleum Products’ Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas, at the weekend, bickered over alleged 2,050 per cent increase in the administrative charge, which the former slammed on the product. Rising under the aegis of Nigeria LPG Association (NLPGA), the marketers described the 2,050 per cent increase as illegal.
The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, the biggest cooking gas supply to local market, had promised to increase its allocation of LPG to the domestic market from 350, 000 metric tons (MT) to 450, 000MT by 2021.
The admin fee is expected to be paid on all the volume, a document of PPPRA read. Picking holes in this action, NLPGA declared that the charges were capable of affecting the Federal Government National LPG Expansion Plan and the National Gas Expansion Programme.
The National LPG Expansion Plan and the National Gas Expansion Programme were designed to enhance massive investment, supply and utilisation of LPG and natural gas in Nigeria. Executive Secretary, NLPGA, Mr. Olakunle Oyebanjo, stated this in a statement at the weekend.
He said:, “The LPG industry is appalled with the seemingly nonchalant attitude and flagrant disregard for the industry, whose officials have been working with the Federal Government and others to drive the National LPG Expansion Plan and the National Gas Expansion Programme.
“These and other important schemes could be thwarted by the administrative fee. “Apparently, because of the obvious illegality, some stakeholders, including the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Presidency have made several interventions, peaceful engagements, and dialogue on this subject.
“Sadly, the PPPRA has not yet removed the Administrative fee. The agency should be encouraged to do so, especially as it has the tendency to impact negatively on Nigerians, currently groaning under the weight of extreme poverty occasioned by low disposable incomes, which culminated in the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protests.
“Furthermore, it could also unleash much hardship on the already impoverished consumers, who are still struggling to cope with the Covid-19 ravaged economy, insurgency, food scarcity, rising inflation, petrol pump price increase and the increase in electricity tariff, which has affected the morale and mental wellbeing of Nigerians.” According to him, “the industry remains committed to protecting the interests of consum ers and its members from the PPPRA’s administrative fee.
“All members and indeed the entire industry is by this publication and prior correspondences urged to ignore and do not comply with the PPPRA Administrative fee. “Nevertheless, the NLPGA assures that the industry will continue to explore all lawful avenues to seek redress, promote ease of doing business and oadvocate for the better mutually beneficial business, public health safety and environment for all stakeholders.