02 February 2017, Lagos – With effective government policy in place, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) market is capable of generating over two million jobs, the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association has said.
The NLPGA is the umbrella body of all stakeholders in the LPG sector in the country and the primary objective of the association is to promote the use of the LPG in Nigeria at affordable costs.
Nigeria’s LPG consumption was put at around 400,000 tonnes a year as of 2015 while consumption per head has been low compared to many other African countries.
About 30 million households and more than 100 million Nigerians are said to depend on firewood as a source of energy for cooking with its attendant collateral damage to human health and the environment.
With government policies aimed at promoting the LPG usage and plugging funding and infrastructure gaps in the industry, the NLPGA sees potential job opportunities in excess of two million.
According to the NLPGA President, Mr. Dayo Adeshina, a vibrant LPG market in Nigeria will no doubt induce a positive ripple effect that will translate into more jobs for millions of unemployed citizens as well as create business opportunities.
He said there were about 300 LPG distribution terminals (bottling plants) in the country with a total capacity of about 13,000 tonnes.
“The country needs over 2,000 bottling plants to meet national demand if the government encourages half of the nation’s population to switch over from firewood and kerosene to the LPG,” he said.
With the right government policy, Adeshina said there would be increased activities in local manufacturing of gas cylinders, retail, autogas and power generation services that would generate new jobs.
Adeshina said, “In 2016, Nigerians consumed about 500,000 tonnes of cooking gas and this showed that the potential will continue to increase. If the government intervenes, we can shift from 500,000 tonnes per annum to two million tonnes per annum.”
The NLPGA boss explained that apart from providing a cleaner environment, the LPG could be used as a revenue generation tool by the government with effective policies that would drive tax collection and employment, among others.
He said, “In fact, we can build a multi-billion dollar business from the LPG in an enabling environment.
“We expect to have greater collaboration with the government this year. It is a deregulated product/industry and what we want from the government is support in areas like reduction of tariffs and duties reduction on imported LPG equipment, a concession for foreign exchange. We expect better engagement from the government in areas of tariff and intervention fund.”
The Federal Government had in the Draft National Gas Policy said $10.38bn could be generated for the economy if 50 per cent of the current kerosene and firewood users switched over to the LPG by 2018, creating along with it over one million skilled jobs in various segments of the LPG supply value chain.
Adeshina said some major problems should be urgently addressed in the LPG industry if the hope of generating over two million jobs would be realised.