Business

Mixed reactions trail cooking gas price drop in Kwara

...asks govt to halt 7.5% VAT on gas

By Mike Adeyemi

Sequel to the federal government recent reduction in the price of cooking gas, many consumers of the products in Kwara State are filled with mixed feelings, National Pilot learnt.

The price of liquefied petroleum gas, popularly known as cooking gas, has fallen to its lowest level since its astronomical rise started around September last year.

The rise in prices of gas has driven more Kwarans to seek alternative sources of fuel like charcoal, firewood, sawdust, among other energy sources whose prices have started rising as well.

National Pilot had exclusively reported that the cost of LPG kept rising in the out gone year, jumping by more than 240 per cent between January and October 2021, as consumers of the commodity raised the alarm over the persistent hike in its price.

According to our reporter who visited some gas outlets in the Ilorin metropolis brought report that the price of a 12.5kg of cooking gas has dropped from N8,800 to between N8,400 and N7,500, depending on the outlet, while a 3kg of cooking gas sells for between N1,800 and N1,500.

The reduction in the price of cooking gas is somewhat connected to the federal government’s promise to reduce the price by flooding the market with cooking gas.

Reacting, a consumer, Moyosore Ajao described the new price regime as a welcome development, saying Kwarans are going through hardship as a result of incessant gas price hike.

“This is a welcome development as government plan to continued the supply which will drag the price of cooking gas much lower.

“The Kwarans are already going through a lot, with inflation hitting an all-time high. A reduction in the price of cooking gas, no matter how low, wi go a long way towards providing relief.

“I still expect the government to intensify efforts on other programs that will help address the sufferings the masses are going through,” Ajao appealed.

Also, a Tax expert, Mustapha Aluko, charged government to find lasting solutions to the perennial surge in the price of LPG.

“Even as government is determine to make the price of cooking gas affordable, the fact is that the cause of the soaring price is tripartite in nature. So the tripartite cause should not be dismounted.

“Rather it should be addressed. The government should stop depending on imported gas. It is disgusting that up to 70 per cent of the gas we use is imported.

“Two, the prices of PMS have been rising in the international market in line with high cost of crude oil from which these products are made. But by far the greatest source of increase in the price of cooking gas is the introduction of the 7.5 per cent value added Tax(VAT) on imported gas.

“How can the government be as parochial as it is now and insensitive as to impose VAT on premium energy source on which the people depend to cook their food on daily basis. Would it not have been practical to impose such levy or tax on luxury goods,” he queried.

Mrs. Chintia Chukwuemeka, a restaurateur at Stadium Road, said she was relived following a marginal reduction in the prices of gas.

“I am highly excited because it is not easy to be cooking with firewood and charcoal that are equally not cheap. Am happy that the price of cooking gas is coming down as it will less harmful and faster for cooking and affordable. In fact , firewood and charcoal are not that cheap as people erroneously think,” she said.

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