10 December 2013, Lagos – Oando Marketing Plc has signed an agreement with KFW, a German government-owned development bank based in Frankfurt, to invest €5m (over N1bn) in the cooking gas market in Nigeria.
The company, in a statement on Monday, said the agreement was signed in Frankfurt last week by KFW’s Director of the Department for Africa Regional Programmes, Dr. Thomas Duve, and Oando Marketing’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abayomi Awobokun.
Awobokun was quoted as saying the funds would be made available to select microfinance institutions to be lent to cooking gas end users and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for the liquefied petroleum gas investments.
He recalled that Oando Marketing Department had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Association of Microfinance Banks with the sole objective of making cleaner and safer cooking fuel more accessible to Nigerians.
Some of the MFBs participating in the scheme are Foresight MFB, Lake MFB, Channel MFB, Esusu MFB, Capstone MFB and Infinity MFB. Others are Sunrise MFB, Acute MFB, Strong Alliance MFB and Global Initiative MFB, among others.
With the MFB partnership, the reach of the company’s three-in-one 3kg O-Gas cylinder is now extended and made accessible to virtually everyone, according to Awobokun.
He explained that intending end users could now approach a wide range of microfinance banks with only N200 as an initial deposit and walk away with a complete set of portable 3kg O-Gas.
Awobokun, however, said such buyers would be expected to make a N200 daily deposit with any of the partnering microfinance banks for 30 days until they would have completed the payment cycle for the unit.
Awobokun also spoke on the new investment deal with the German bank, stressing that it was a new dawn altogether for gas usage in the country, particularly for the low-income earners.
He said Oando was committed to making life more comfortable through unhindered access to affordable cooking gas.
Some of the benefits of switching the nation to gas, according to him, are the provision of a cleaner and safer fuel option for lower-income households; reduction of indoor air pollution that causes significant health problems; decline in carbon emissions caused by dirty fuels and a decrease in the rate of deforestation.
– The Punch