The Federal Government on Thursday said it was putting measures in place to ensure further reduction in the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, popularly called cooking gas.
It disclosed this while reacting to the recent marginal drop in the cost of cooking gas.
According to findings, the price of 12.5kg LPG has dropped from N8,800 to between N8400 and N8200. In some outlets, the price of the commodity dropped to between N7,800 and N8,000 as of Thursday.
In November, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the cost of LPG kept rising in 2021, jumping by more than 240 per cent between January and October 2021.
The development forced some LPG users to shift to charcoal or firewood, as consumers of the commodity raised the alarm over the persistent hike in its price.
The product had increased by 240 per cent for 12.5kg, moving up from N3,000 to N10,200 within the first 10 months of 2021.
“It is in government’s interest for the price to go down consistently and there are certain initiatives that are being taken at the moment, which hopefully will see to further drops in price regardless of the international cost,” the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, Office of the Vice President, Dayo Adeshina, stated.
When asked to state one of such initiatives, he replied, “The discussions are still ongoing and there are certain things that you can do to stimulate the market which will have an effect. One of them also has to do with storage.”
About 65 per cent of the LPG is imported into Nigeria, while domestic production accounts for 35 per cent, hence the cost of the commodity in the global market affects the price locally.
Adeshina told The PUNCH correspondent that the international price of the LPG had risen so high in October last year, but dipped towards the end of 2021 into January 2022, as this also contributed to the recent drop in the LPG price across the country.
He said, “If you look at the international pricing of the LPG, and that might change again because it is not a fixed price, in January last year, it was $250 per tonne.
“It rose to $875 per tonne by the end of October and started dropping by the end of November into December, and came down to around $500 per tonne at some point but went up again in December to $708 per tonne.”
He added, “Now, as of the third of January this year, that figure is $744 per tonne. So you can see there is a drop from about $800 around November to $700 in January. The issue here is that the price has been fluctuating.
“Yes you have the effects of Customs and the position of the VAT that made people pay tax for what they imported even in 2019 and 2020. Of course, some importers stopped importing, but there is a resolution going on to resolve that aspect.”
Adeshina assured Nigerians that the government would come up with additional measures that would see to a further reduction in cooking gas prices regardless of the price fluctuation in the global market.
Commenting on the development, the National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Association of Nigeria, Michael Umudu, confirmed the drop in LPG price, attributing it to the increase in supply by the NNPC and NLNG.
“Also, many LPG users stopped using the commodity at the time when the price kept increasing and this reduced demand pressure on cooking gas, hence causing a rise in its availability and then a gradual drop in price,” he stated.
Asked whether the Federal Government had removed the VAT on cooking gas imports, Umudu replied, “It (government) has not been enforcing the tax and has remained silent about it, but has not said anything about removing it. This also has helped in price reduction.”
Last month, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, said the NNPC was increasing the supply of the LPG in a bid to force down its price.
Kyari said, “Two things are in play. One is the supply in the international market of gas. It moves with the price of every other petroleum product including crude oil and its derivatives.
“So definitely, it is a reflection of what is happening in the international market. However, what we are doing is to increase supply and once supply increases, price will come down.”
FG’s January Bonds Oversubscribed By N175bn –DMO
The Federal Government’s bonds for January worth N150bn, which were auctioned on January 19, were oversubscribed by N175.24bn, the Debt Management Office has said.
The DMO said on Friday the total subscription received from investors was N325.24bn.
It said a subscription of N11.19bn was received for the 12.50 per cent FGN January 2026 bonds and N214.05bn for the 13 per cent FGN January 2042 bonds, which recorded the highest subscription.
The debt office said a total of N170.64bn was allotted, comprising N81.72bn and N88.92bn.
It said, “Successful bids for the 12.50 per cent FGN January 2026 and 13 per cent FGN January 2042 were allotted at the Marginal Rates of 11.50 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.
“However, the original coupon rates of 12.5000 per cent for the 12.5000 per cent FGN January 2026 will be maintained, while the coupon rate for the 13 per cent FGN January 2042 (New Issue) is set at 13 per cent.”
The DMO had earlier released its bond issuance calendar for the first quarter of 2022, which the auction dates being January 19, February 16, and March 23.
The Federal Government planned to acquire about N480bn in new debt capital from the domestic capital market in Q1 2022, according to its bond issuance calendar.
Govt Moves To Revive Few Moribund Ports
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council are set to revive six moribund ports whose contracts were signed in 2006.
To commence the process, ICRC on Wednesday held a meeting with NSC, which is the owner of the projects, and the concessionaires, according to a statement.
The purpose of the meeting was to get the six inland container depots located in each of the geopolitical zones of Nigeria to become operational.
The statement quoted the commission’s acting Director-General, Mr. Mike Ohiani, as saying that when completed, these ICDs would bring the required benefit to the country Nigeria.
“We are not unaware that at the material time that the contracts were signed, ICRC as a commission had not been set up, so no proper outline business cases were done for the projects like we now do, but I want us to have a frank discussion so that we can chart a way forward,” he said.
The commission reminded the concessionaires and that NSC that by its Act, it is to take custody of all PPP contracts including the ones for the ICDs.
The states where the ports are located and the level of progress by the concessionaires were listed as Oyo State (10 per cent), Abia State (five per cent), Plateau State (29.7 per cent), Kano State (55 per cent), Katsina State (68 per cent) and Borno State (five per cent).
According to the statement, the concessionaires told the ICRC that the 16 years’ journey had been fraught with various challenges that had hampered any progress that could have been recorded.
It said the concessionaires complained of poor cooperation from state governments, which they said mostly delay in meeting their own part of the agreement, citing land provision as an example.
They said another major challenge was the lack of narrow gauge rail lines in and out of the dry ports, which they noted was important to make the operation of the ports efficient.
They added that access to funds also remained a major issue as banks and foreign investors made unreasonable demands for assets and bank bonds before the release of funds.
The concessionaires unanimously stressed the need for the ports being constructed to be given the status of port of origin and destination and also to be registered with the International Chamber of Commerce upon completion.
NDE Disburses N9.3m Loan To 93 Farmers In Bauchi
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), says it has disbursed N9.3 million to 93 small holder farmers to boost animal and crop production in Bauchi State.
Mr Mbata Michael, Director, Rural Employment Promotion Department, NDE Headquarters, disclosed this at a 5-day agricultural extension training for the beneficiaries, on Thursday in Bauchi.
Michael, represented by Mr Farouk Farouk, Senior Rural Employment Promotion Officer, said that each of the beneficiaries received N100,000 loan to increase their productions.
He said that the facility was part of programmes initiated by the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, to encourage crop and animal productions.
“The facility has a six months moratorium period before commencement of repayment and it will be repaid within 30 months.
“It is designed for farmers in different areas, those in commercial farming trying to sustain their businesses and those who are likely to start up agricultural businesses.
“Many of them are doing one or two things in agriculture and the money is to augment their businesses,” he said.
The director urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the facility to expand their businesses.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, commended the gesture, adding that it would boost crop and livestock production in the state.
Meanwhile, the NDE’s State Coordinator, Mr Lawan Yaya, said the directorate had concluded arrangements to train 50 agricultural extension workers in the 20 local government areas of the state.
Yaya said the exercise was to complement Federal Government’s efforts towards encouraging agricultural production through improved farmer support services
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