Business

VAT: Kwarans blame states, FG face-off for hike in gas price

Stories by Mike Adeyemi

The Manager of Orange Gas Plant Ilorin, Ibrahim Azeez , has attributed the hike in gas prices in Kwara to the importation of gas and the ongoing face-off between states and the federal government on who owns the right to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).

“Remember gas is refined and imported, and the high import duty and exchange rates have triggered the price of the product,” Ibrahim noted.

A 12.5 kg cylinder which sold for N4,500 before July, now sells for between N6,500 and N7,000.

Some residents of Ilorin who spoke with our reporter on Tuesday said that the price increase had inflicted hardship on the people.

A teacher, Ismail Jolayemi, who lamented the hike, said it had compelled consumers to seek alternatives in charcoal and firewood.

He said consumers should not be spending so much to get cooking gas since the country has an abundance of gas resources.

“The price keeps rising daily. You can imagine six kilogrammes that sold for between N900 to N1,200 now goes for N2,800.

“How can an average Kwarans balance it considering the rise in prices of foodstuffs in the market?” He queried, calling on the government to reduce it or have a fixed price.

Ahmed Gidado, a baker, said the price hike had affected his business negatively. He said the increased price of gas led to the recent increase in the prices of bread, pastries, confectioneries and other baking products.

“Before now, we refilled 12.5 kg for N4,500, but now the price of refilling the same cylinder has gone up to N6,500.

“This is not good for us who are into the baking business because it has slowed our productivity level and by extension our profits.

“If the government is serious about job creation, it must consider a downward review of prices of some key commodities because it has a great ripple effect on the citizens and even on the economy in general,” Ahmed said.

Another person, Isaac Ajadi, attributed the hike in the price of gas to high demand. He added that the inability of the government to ensure proper price control had enabled black marketers to take advantage of the situation.

“Looking at the economy of the country at this present time, it is not a surprise to see a hike in the price of any commodity.

“Government should regulate the price of gas and ensure regular supervision of gas plants to ensure that Nigerians get it at the approved price,” he advised.

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