28 July 2016, Abuja—The Managing Director, Gas and Power Investments, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Sam Ndukwe, has said the domestic supply of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, popularly known as cooking gas, is being hampered by logistics challenge.
The price of cooking has increased by over 50 per cent in recent times, with 12.5 kg of the fuel being sold between N4,000 and N4,500, up from N2,500-N2,800.
Ndukwe, who spoke in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said efforts were being made to solve the logistics challenge in a bid to ramp up the consumption of LPG in the country.
He noted that the Federal Government had directed the Nigeria LNG Limited to deliver 250,000 metric tonnes of LPG to the domestic market.
Ndukwe said, “But there is a lot of logistics challenge bringing that LPG from Bonny to deliver it where it can be used. So, they have not been able to achieve that 250,000.
“What they are doing now is that they want to deepen the LPG logistics in such a way that it can be delivered to the coastal areas, namely, Lagos; we are also looking at delivering in Port Harcourt or maybe Calabar because in Lagos, fuel importation is also choking the available space for ships to berth.”
According to him, Nigeria has enough bottling plants owned by individuals, but the great challenge is bringing the product to those plants.
He said, “LPG being delivered from Nigeria LNG is not expensive; but the logistics of bringing it to the end-users is where the challenge is.”
Ndukwe said, “On the part of the NNPC, we are trying to also expand our horizons using the NNPC Retail Limited to be able to bottle and then sell NNPC-branded cylinders to people. So, when you do all that, in-country consumption will be able to increase, and then we will gradually displace further things like kerosene.
“There is a scheme that people are looking at to see whether they can buy the cylinders. In the process of refilling it, you can recover the costs. Oando and the NNPC are looking at this. But we are not going to be importing cylinders to give to people because it is not sustainable. It is only government that can do it.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who was then the NNPC Group Managing Director, at a recent industry event in Lagos, said the government was looking at the LPG market to promote growth.
“As it is, the country is depending on kerosene for consumption. But we are seeing the need to grow the LPG sub-sector of the oil and gas industry because it is cleaner, friendlier and cheaper. Besides, the LPG sector would create jobs for the economy,” he said.