Cooking gas scarcity looms as PPPRA orders off-takers to submit templates
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulating Agency (PPPRA) has ordered stakeholders and off-takers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, to surrender their pricing templates to the agency, Daily Trust learnt.
But stakeholders, condemning the PPPRA, in the industry are accusing the PPPRA of sabotaging LPG industry “through the back-door.”
They feared that the action of the agency may plunge the country into a gas supply hitch, which, they maintained, was at variance with the efforts of the federal government to promote the consumption of cooking gas in Nigeria.
Nigeria still ranks lowest in sub-Sahara Africa in per capita usage of LPG, consuming 1.1kg, compared with Ghana at 3.0kg; South Africa, 5.5kg and Morocco, 44kg per capita.
The PPPRA had already written letters to some LPG off-takers and plant owners demanding a comprehensive disclosure of their pricing template to hasten its plan.
Our correspondent gathered that the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Farouk Ahmed personally signed the letter requesting LPG off-takers to share their pricing template with the agency.
The Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) argued that the PPPRA was at liberty to develop a pricing template for the product without necessarily requesting and placing an order for an input from LPG operators.
The association stated, “The NLPGA does not argue with the authority of the PPPRA, but, however, wishes to address our proposed intervention. The NLPGA cannot find any relevance of the PPPRA at the moment, considering that the LPG market is fully deregulated and subject to forces of demand and supply.
“Another thing is that if the PPPRA wants to develop its pricing template for LPG, it may as well go ahead to do that, without necessarily requesting input from LPG operators, who by themselves, each developed their respective pricing templates.”
The association challenged the PPPRA to prove its relevance, “considering that petrol and kerosene, both products under the complete regulation of PPPRA do not deliver to the common man at the government regulated (subsidized) prices.”
Most of the LPG off-takers companies confirmed receipt of PPPRA’s letters to our correspondent yesterday.
One of the off-takers told our correspondent that the action of the agency may breed price fixing for cooking gas, which, he maintained, is a deregulated product. He said the PPPRA decision “hampers efforts by government and other stakeholders to promote usage of LPG.
According to him, the agency’s demand for stakeholders’ pricing template baffles many operators in the industry. ago declared that the PPPRA “has no business regulating LPG.”