Stories by Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has given reasons why more Nigerians have not switched to using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking and undertaking other domestic activities.
Kachikwu, at a recent launch of an LPG distribution facility built by the Nigerian Army in Abuja, explained that Nigeria’s LPG per capita consumption was still low when compared to that of other African countries because the infrastructure to distribute LPG to homes and other end-users in the country was still very poor.
He, however, noted that government was working on rectifying the gap, adding that a partnership with manufacturers of LPG cylinders was underway to amongst other initiatives, produce and deploy more cylinders to users across the country.
“The greatest problem of domestic utilisation of LPG is how to move the gas to various parts of the country where it is needed, and ensure that those who really want to use gas have the resources to do that.
“We are working with all the LPG cylinder manufacturers under some presidentially-backed initiative to enable them produce cylinders.
“About four of them are working with the NCDMB to get facilities for that under the $200 million facility that we have,” said Kachikwu.
He added: “Our mandate is that over the next one to three years, every local government will have gas filling plants within the 774 local governments.
“We are also enabling virtual pipelines and with that we are going to have the DPR issue a regulation that every filling stations in this country must have a gas filling point and this will deploy gas to about 10,000 filling stations in this country.”
“The next thing is to ensure that those who pick up the cylinder do not pay for that but for the gas volumes,” Kachikwu indicated.
According to him, the government came up with what, “we call the LPG penetration model and the essence of that is to provide enough gas resources to be able to power this country. Gas is an essential element of that.”
Also on the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), which the government recently signed its regulation and had begun to implement, the minister said: “What we have done with the gas flare commercialisation programme is to tell the oil companies that if you are able to stop gas flaring within the timeframe of 2020 – 10 years well ahead of the United Nations deadline, we are going to bring in private companies into yours facilities, trap the flared gas, convert them and utilise them for power and industrial purposes.
“That programme has been launched. Once we do that, our intention is to exit gas flare 100 per cent by 2020, 10 years well ahead of the time.”
In his remarks at the LPG facility launch, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Army Logistics, Enobong Udoh, stated that the LPG distribution facility at the Mambila Barracks was initiated by the Nigerian Army Welfare Limited by Guarantee, to cut down the use of kerosene and wood by the residents of the barracks.
He noted that the barracks have market potential for LPG deployment, adding that while 10 other points had been earmarked for similar facility, the military would gradually extend it to its other barracks and formations across the country.