02 August 2015, Lagos – Nigeria ranks the lowest in the per capita usage of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, with 1.1 kilograme consumption rate behind South Africa, Morocco and Ghana.
The President, Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG), Mrs Nkechi Obi, who disclosed this in Lagos, berated poor LPG usage in the country, urging the Federal Government to create an enabling environment to encourage more investors coming into play with new filling plants and terminals.
Obi, who is the Executive Vice Chairman, Techno Oil Limited, however said the company has therefore taken the bull by the horn by building a new LPG cylinder manufacturing plant in Lekki area of Lagos. Noting that the construction is at advanced stage, she said the plant will roll out five million units of cylinders yearly, and expected to take off in the next 90 days.
The industrialist lamented that Nigeria still ranked lowest in sub-Saharan Africa in per capita usage of LPG, consuming 1.1kg compared with Ghana at 3.0kg; South Africa consumes 5.5kg; while Morocco consumes 44kg per capita.
The WINLPG president noted that making more Nigerians to embrace cooking gas instead of using firewood would help in the drive to sustain the environment and preserve the fragile eco-system. Obi listed some challenges that had been making it difficult for more Nigerians to embrace LPG to include inadequate public awareness on safety, limited distributive outlets such as refilling plants and high cost of LPG cylinders amongst others.
The private sector cannot do it alone, hence, our humble submission is for government to handle the issue of awareness and also provide enabling environment, financial and infrastructural incentives.
While the private sector will undertake the other projects, such as Techno Oil is doing today, we submit that government should do a one-off subsidy intervention by subsidizing cylinders to households. “Government should use the National Orientation Agency to propagate the campaign to switch from firewood/kerosene to cooking gas.
This will reduce the phobia and improve public awareness that LPG is clean, safe and affordable; and also expose the danger inherent in long use of firewood and kerosene. “LPG or cooking gas users find it extremely difficult to refill their cylinders. Sometimes they travel as far as 200km before they can access facilities to refill their cylinders.
Our desire is for government to provide incentives for investors to build refilling plants and terminals and DPR to incorporate LPG plants in all mega stations within reach of communities so that people can refill their cylinders with ease and at an affordable cost,” she said. “It is on the basis of these realities that Techno Oil started our advocacy on “Going Green” “for a switch from firewood/kerosene to LPG.
Our passion for cleaner environment and safety of our women enabled us incorporate it as part of our corporate social responsibility. Our main objective is to create awareness for a switch to LPG,” Obi added.
She stated that the company’s “Going Green” advocacy in the last five years has increased the number and popularised cooking gas usage among women. “We have aggressively distributed over 50,000 units of gas stoves at discounted prices through market women across the country, and also donated to some indigent households.
Cooking with firewood is a silent killer because firewood smoke is more dangerous than cigarette smoke,” she lamented. Citing a recent World Health Organization report, she said that cooking with firewood often resulted to indoor pollution, which globally accounted for over four million deaths every year.
*Sulaimon Salau – Guardian