The Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM) said it has distributed 500 gas cylinders free of charge to some consumers in Lagos to boost gas utilisation .
Mr Nosakhare Ogieva-Okunbor, National President of NALPGAM, said that giving out the free cylinders became necessary to encourage a cleaner environment.
He said the association gave out the free cylinders with the objective of reducing the use of charcoal and firewood in Lagos.
The president said the association hoped to get millions of homes to switch from using charcoal and firewood to cooking gas.
He urged the Federal Government to develop policies to promote the use of cooking gas, saying that the country would save over 10 billion dollars annually if 50 per cent of the population switched to cooking gas by 2019.
Ogieva-Okunbor commended the government for setting up a committee to look at the issue of VAT on locally produced LPG, which he said had made the product unaffordable for many consumers.
The NALPGAM boss said the removal of VAT on the gas supplied to marketers by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) would attract more investors and reduce importation of gas into the country, which is VAT free.
“The price of 12.5 kg cylinder of cooking gas has risen from N 3, 800 to N4, 000. Similarly, the price of 6kg cylinder has risen from N 7, 900 to N 8,500, and 3kg from N 3, 200 to N 3,700.
“The price of 20 metric tonnes (about 35,000 litres ) of the LPG, which was N4 million has been increased to N4.6 million,” he said.
Ogieva-Okunbor also called for the reduction of import duty on LPG equipment to encourage more investors to deepen LPG consumption in the country.
He said it was a shame that Nigeria remained one of the lowest consumers of LPG despite the enormous natural gas reserves in the country.He said his group was making efforts to ensure that every household in the country used LPG.
Mr Billy Okoye, the Executive Director, Commercial, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, (PPMC) said the issue of VAT on LPG from Nigeria LNG had been dealt with.
He said the tariff on LPG produced by NLNG against had been removed by the government.