Chineme Okafor in Abuja
Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has exonerated its members from the importation and sale of explosive gas that has reportedly killed people and destroyed properties in gas-related fire outbreaks across the country.
The President of NALPGAM, Mr. Nosakhare Ogieva-Okunbor stated recently in Abuja, that members of the association were registered and trained on safe handling of their LPG stocks.
He noted that they could not be involved in shady deals that could result in the gas-fire outbreaks that had been recorded in the Magodo and Lekki areas of Lagos.
The reported cases of gas explosions and fire outbreaks had been linked to low quality LPG in circulation in the country.
But Ogieva-Okunbor said his association was not involved in shady deals.
â€œBefore you become a member of the association, you must be licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). So, to say my members did that is untrue because people wake up and set up gas plants. They are not members of NALPGAM,â€ he said.
According to him, NALPGAM has continued to enlighten Nigerians on safe use of LPG especially as it is reportedly a viable alternative fuel source for use in Nigeria.
He also noted that the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has stepped up its supply of LPG to the countryâ€™s domestic LPG market, adding that this has helped to address the scarcity of LPG experienced before now in the country.
â€œNinety per cent of what we consume in Nigeria today comes from the Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG). As at last year we consumed about 700,000 metric tonnes and that is just scratching at the surface. We have the capacity to produce and consume about five million metric tonnes annually,â€ said Ogieva-Okunbor.
Speaking more on policies that had helped improve the LPG market, Ogieva-Okunbor said that with recent government involvement, there was steady gas supply in the country.
â€œOur effort is assisting a deliberate policy by NNLG to supply Nigerian market with more of their product. As we speak, the issue of scarcity is a thing of the past as a result of a deliberate government policy that was put in place and NLNG came in to remove the bottlenecks that we were having by increasing the jetties we have in Apapa.
â€œNow, we have a jetty that every ship can come in and can be discharged into storage facilities in Lagos. You will notice that most times in December there is scarcity but due to efforts put in by NLNG last year, there was no scarcity and scarcity is a thing of the past in the LPG industry,â€ he explained.
According to him, Nigeria is one of the lowest LPG consuming countries of Africa, a situation he explained can be improved on with the implementation of the right policies
He stated that if done, within the next five years, Nigeria will be ranked as one of the highest consuming LPG nations in Africa.
Further on safety, he said the association holds meetings on safety and has a training school where trainings on safety is frequently conducted for its members.