The new Federal Government policy of removing ownership of LPG cylinders from consumers will unlock the potential of Nigeria’s gas sector and accelerate the cooking gas adoption drive.
The Executive-Vice Chairman of the Techno Oil Group, Mrs Nkechi Obi, made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
Obi was reacting to the announcement by government that ownership of cylinders by consumers would no longer be allowed.
She said that the policy of discouraging cylinder ownership would unlock the economic potential of Nigeria’s 202 trillion cubic feet gas reserve to the fullest.
According to her, if strictly enforced, the policy will turnaround the economy and position Nigeria to exploit various opportunities in the gas industry.
Obi, who has been a long standing advocate of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) adoption, described the cylinder ownership arrangement as a model that could yield numerous dividends.
She noted that many countries in West Africa had since adopted the policy, citing Ghana in particular.
On May 21, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, announced that “ownership of cooking gas cylinders will henceforth, rest strictly on dealers and distributors.’’
He said that government would clamp down on roadside LPG dealers, advising the dealers to convert their outlets to micro-distribution centres before the commencement of the policy but did not state the exact time of the commencement of the new policy.
According to Obi, exploiting Nigeria’s gas resources will re-energize the economy and boost the nation’s sagging gross domestic product.
She listed the advantages of embracing LPG in a country with a huge population such as Nigeria, saying that the economy would be better for it in the short and long run.
The industrialist noted, however, that government should take urgent steps to stop the importation of fake and sub-standard LPG cylinders by unscrupulous people.
Obi also harped on the need to likewise clamp down on people fabricating sub-standard cylinders locally and overseas, to ensure safety of cylinder users and protect local cylinder manufacturing outfits.
The Techno Oil chief, similarly, appealed to the Federal Government to support local manufacturers with grants and incentives to encourage affordability and sustainability of the LPG adoption scheme.
According to her, Nigerian investors have taken up the challenge of manufacturing world-class LPG cylinders locally, in line with the local content drive of the Federal Government.
Obi re-stated that Techno Oil Group had since unveiled its LPG cylinders, manufactured at the company’s plant in Lagos.
She explained that the plant, with its annual five million cylinder production capacity was ranking as the biggest LPG cylinder manufacturing plant in West Africa.
Obi disclosed that the plant was also capable of manufacturing enough cylinders to meet local needs and enough for export in the near future.
According to her, the Techno Gas cylinder brand, which she said, has secured all necessary certifications by various agencies, including the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, is made to suit the Nigerian environment.
Obi disclosed further that market intelligence had revealed that the Techno Oil cylinder brand was doing well as buyers’ choice, noting that the reason was not unconnected with safety and durability considerations in the making of the cylinders.