The Federal Government’s aspiration to drive the consumption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to about one million tonnes a year by 2015 may not be realised after all, as indications emerged that the current policy framework has not encouraged necessary investment in the sector.
The President, Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Association (NLPGA), Dayo Adesina, at a briefing to herald its maiden national conference in Lagos, said that the nation is just at about 150,000 tonnes consumption level in 2012, adding that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in August this year increased supply to 250,000 tonnes, a far cry from the target.
Other stakeholders in the sector, including international LPG experts expressed fears that the target might become a mirage, if urgent actions were not taken to initiate encouraging platform.
Lamenting that about 19 states in the country now suffer from desertification caused by tree cutting and other unfriendly environmental activities, he noted that one of the major ways of mitigating the problem is optimal utilization of LPG.
Adesina said Nigeria has huge gas resources, which it has not been really exploited as expected.
Appreciating the Lagos State Government on its Eko gas scheme, he urged all other states across the federation to emulate the initiative and switch from kerosene to LPG.
“In 2009, NLPGA, World Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (WLPGA) and the Federal Government signed a memorandum setting a target of 1 million tones by 2015, we are in 2013, unfortunately we are still at 150,000 tones,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, World Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, James Rockall, also berated the low gas utilization in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, said the country consumes less than one kilogramme of LPG yearly, compared to the expected 12kg per year.
According to him, about three billion people worldwide do not have access to LPG, while about four million people globally die from environmental pollution.
He said Nigeria could become the largest market for LPG in the world by 2015, if the right framework was put in place.
Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofiq Ajibade Tijani, said the state government has chosen LPG as a fuel of choice, and therefore encourage Lagosians to switch from kerosene and firewood to LPG.