The Federal Government is working to ensure the movement of petrol and cooking gas by rail, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Board, said on Wednesday.
Poor maintenance and vandalism have left many government-owned fuel depots and pipelines idle for years, with the number of tankers on the roads increasing and wrecking havoc.
“We are going into railway equalisation. We are in consultation with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, and other stakeholders, including the private sector,” the Executive Secretary, PEF, Ahmed Bobboi, said during a panel session at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit 2020 in Abuja.
Bobboi, who was represented by the General Manager, Corporate Services, PEF, Mr Goddy Nnadi, said the fund was discussing with stakeholders to ensure the usage of rail as a means of transporting petroleum products.
“With the improvement in our rail system going on now with government’s impetus towards making this available, we are going to use rail to make sure that gas, not just petrol, is made available to people in every part of the country,” he added.
He said that PEF would work with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the committees set up by government to enlighten Nigerians on the safe usage of gas for cooking.
The Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Tunji Oyebanji, during an interview on the sidelines of the event, said the most efficient way of distributing products was through pipelines.
He said, “When you put five million litres into a pipeline, you can press the pump and it will come out in Enugu, while some will come out in another place. Nobody will see it because it will go under the ground.
“So, that is the most efficient means of distribution. But it takes a lot of money. The investment Nigeria made in the pipeline network, If we were to make it today, it will be significantly higher and you can only do it with private sector involvement.”
The country has a network of pipelines, totalling over 5,000 kilometres in length, with 4,315km being multi-product pipelines but many have fallen into disuse.