The Pipelines and Product Marketing Company Limited a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it will probe the allegation by some marketers that its officials connived with some terminal operators in Lagos to divert Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG) vessels and create monopoly in the LPG, better known as cooking gas market.
Speaking in Lagos during the recent inauguration of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) Building and Resource Centre, the Managing Director of PPMC, Mr. Ahmed Farouk said the company would not tolerate any form of monopoly in the industry.
Ahmed who was represented by the PPMC’s Executive Director in charge of Supply and Distribution, Mr. Justine Ezeala said the allegation that the PPMC officials were involved in diverting LPG vessels to private jetties would be investigated.
“I am hearing this for the first time. I have been executive director for nine months and I am hearing this for the first time but I am not holding brief for anyone; if this is substantiated, we will take steps. If you have any evidence, please, bring it to my notice. No one in their right minds will take that step to frustrate efforts of bringing the LPG closer to the people. I will look into it,” Ezeala said.
He said efforts were ongoing to improve the efficiency of the LPG vessels by working with relevant stakeholders.
“We are trying to work with our partners to ensure that we can sequence vessels to berth better; use the facility that we currently have and I think if we use it efficiently, we will still be able to make progress until we are able to build additional jetties. But right now, those jetties are 40 years old and so, there will definitely be some constraint,” he added.
In his speech, the President of NALPGAM, Mr. Basil Ogbuanu lauded the Nigeria LNG Limited for its intervention in the LPG market.
Ogbuanu said the intervention of NLNG in 2007 solved the problem of inadequate supply of LPG, popularly known as cooking gas in Nigeria.
He recalled that before 2007, marketers, who borrowed money from banks to build LPG plants were dying of heart attack due to lack of cooking gas to sell at the plants.
“Over the years, the industry has gone through different era of erratic, inadequate and import dependent supply of LPG into the Nigerian market but the situation has since changed for the better at the intervention of the Nigeria LNG Limited- LPG domestic supply scheme. This positive development has not only guaranteed steady supply of LPG but it has equally stimulated the market, attracted investment across the value chain and ultimately created additional job opportunities,” he explained.
Ogbuanu acknowledged the efforts of other stakeholders for their unquantifiable and indirect contributions to the success of the association.
He noted that the commissioning of the NALPGAM House was a strong indication of the high growth potentials in the LPG industry.
According to him, the commissioning marks a key milestone in the history of NALGAM in particular and the Nigeria LPG industry in general.
“My joy essentially is derived from the fact that the actualisation of this dream despite all odds and challenges has at last become a reality. I hereby humbly state that our number one agenda on the 5-point agenda, which is to aggressively reposition NALPGAM, has eventually paid off,” he added.