Despite Tightening Gas Supply, Rising Prices, FG Says LPG Market Growing

0

*PPPRA: Domestic supply increased by 11,000mt in September
*Kyari pledges more transparency in NNPC’s operations

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

Despite soaring cooking gas prices, which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently attributed to short supply of the commodity, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), yesterday stated that the market has continued to grow beyond expectations.

In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, signed by the General Manager, Corporate Services, PPPRA, Kimchi Apollo, the organisation stated that Nigeria presently produces a major portion of the LPG consumed in the country locally, stressing that the so-called “Decade of Gas”, remains on track.

The “growth” in the sector, the PPPRA stated, was because of the “enabling environment created by the federal government through its programmes and policies to attract investment into the entire gas value chain.”

The PPPRA stated that its assessment of LPG supplied in September 2021, indicated that out of the 76,578.986 metric tonnes of LPG supplied nationwide, 49,453.081mt was locally produced while 27,125.905mt was imported.

In the month of September 2021, it stated that the LPG data showed that 49,453.081MT was supplied into the domestic market by Algasco, Stockgap, NIPCO, 11 plc, Prudent, Greenville Natural Gas, PNG Gas, NPDC and Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon Ltd with 66.58 per cent of the supply sourced from the NLNG, while 27,125.905 mt was imported by Rainoil, Algasco and Prudent.

“It is worthy to note that the quantity of LPG sourced locally rose from 38,040.457mt in August to 49,453.081mt in September, while importation reduced from 47,224.346mt to 27,125.905mt.

“The marked improvement in local production reflects the success of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva in providing the right enabling business climate for the gas industry to thrive,” it stated.

PPPRA stressed that policies and programmes such as the National Gas Policy (NGP), Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP), National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) and the Decade of Gas declaration were responsible for the quantum of investments in the gas industry currently.

It listed some of the investments as the NPDC Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility, Kwale Hub Gas Processing Plants (PNG, Ashtavinayak Hydrocarbon) Greenville LNG, Rivers State and the OSO/Bonny River Terminal project.
“In terms of policies, the waiver of import duties on LPG production equipment as well as the zero VAT for locally produced LPG have indeed heightened the prospects of domestic investment in the sector,” the PPPRA said.

In addition, it stated that the Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) for some categories of LPG investments was also introduced, stressing that it remains committed to the development of Nigeria’s vast gas resources and strengthening the entire value chain.
In the last one year, the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas, has been on the rise and has more than doubled in several parts of the country, a situation largely blamed on the scarcity of the product.

Other factors that occasioned the rise included forex scarcity, naira devaluation and rising inflation, excessive arbitrary charges by government agencies as well as the newly-added 7.5 per cent Valued Added Tax (VAT).
Nigeria currently consumes about 1.2mmt of LPG, with the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) currently 450,000mt to the market, while marketers are left to import the remaining 750,000mt.

A 6-kilogram LPG refilling unit now costs between N3,500 and N4000, while that of 12.5kg refilling unit costs between N7000 to N8000, depending on the part of the country the transaction is done.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, has stated that the corporation remains committed to conducting its operations with transparency and accountability.

This was contained in a statement by the spokesman of the corporation, Mr. Garba Muhammad.
Speaking when he received, “The Sun Man of The Year Award,” in Lagos at the weekend, Kyari attributed the successes recorded by the management team of the NNPC to the, “freehand and support” accorded him by President Muhammadu Buhari, who he said has never interfered with the affairs of the NNPC.
“What we have done in recent years is to ensure that we take out all the opaqueness in NNPC. We also ensured that we represent Nigerians and work for them,” the GMD added.

Speaking on the award, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Newspapers, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh said Kyari was honoured for his “doggedness and resilience” in the way he managed the operations of the NNPC during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, which saw the economies of many countries across the word struggling for survival.