… Blame govt for sector’s woes
A major crisis is brewing between members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and gas producers over a recent hike in gas price.
To reverse the tariff hike, MAN has sought government’s intervention in re-categorising gas users under the new gas policy, in a bid to manage the rising cost of production borne by local producers.
MAN in a letter to the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, and signed by the association’s Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, stated that the existing categorisation of manufacturing sector as ‘Other Commercial Sector’, has left bigger room for abuse by the franchisers, which is one of the issues that it believes the new National Gas Policy should address.
According to the manufacturers, while the articulation of the National Gas Policy, which has already been gazetted, is highly commendable, certain fundamental issues of concern to Nigerian manufacturers ought to be urgently addressed. MAN also raised concerns about the recurring issue of frequent increases in the price of gas by franchiser.
The association, in a recent circular from the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company Limited (NGMCL), is challenging the 2018 gas price for the commercial sector, which has been increased from $7.45/mscf to 7.62/mscf with effect from January 1, 2018.
But the President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), Mr. Dada Thomas, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun on the issues raised by MAN, blamed the Federal Government for the frequent friction between manufacturers and gas producers. Thomas said government does not have a business in gas pricing, adding that the exercise should be on a willing buyer, willing seller agreement.
‘‘For government to be meddling in gas pricing is not healthy for the sector. The best approach would be for all parties involved, including gas transporters, to come to a roundtable and discuss what the price should be.