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FG May Consider Gas Pricing In Naira

Federal Government has hinted it is considering the possibility of pricing gas in naira to reduce the burden of impacts of exchange rate on the final consumers.

Speaking at a webinar organized by Nigerian Association Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva, assured that the government will look into it and consider both naira and dollar gas pricing.

Themed ‘Fiscal Regime, Design, Government Revenue & Investors Interest in Nigerian Oil & Gas Sector’, the Junior Minister said the matter would be presented before President Muhammadu Buhari on the possibility of including naira in payment options.

Although he said payment for the product is influenced by the international pricing standard, however, the Minister said he was willing to present the challenge before the President who doubles as the Petroleum Minister.

Payment for gas in dollars has been one of the front burner issues especially for indigenous power generation companies who most of the times complain of high exchange rate of dollar to naira.

Speaking on the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on investors’ revenue and investments in the sector, Mr Sylva said government is interested in reducing taxes and royalties on oil and gas assets as a way of encouraging more oil exploration and investments.

“The current recession has led to low demand for crude oil and it has affected everybody. Nigeria’s oil and gas sector faces uncertainties and it is time to re-jig the framework which is the PIB to reduce taxes and royalties on oil and gas assets”, he said, adding that low taxes and royalties would go a long way at cushioning the adverse effect of the pandemic on oil and gas firms operating in-country.

According to him, it has become imperative for Nigeria to diversify to a non-oil economy to battle recession caused by low crude oil demand and low revenue.

“The effect of the coronavirus is going to be with us throughout 2020 and beyond. Countries are currently battling with low incomes, and revenue from oil and gas alone cannot continue to fund the economy,” he said.