-By Precious Werner Ahiakwo
“We want the heaviest users of diesel to bring themselves within the regulatory space as well as consider converting to gas as their source of fuel. This is because gas is cheap and ultimately a cleaner source of energy. We want everyone to begin to see gas as the transition fuel.”
These are the desires of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), engaging stakeholders to deepen the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG) in the country, during a meeting with stakeholders in the midstream and downstream sector in Port Harcourt with theme “Stakeholders Engagement on Gas Utilization in Nigeria”.
The Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA Ogbugo Ukoha said that this would reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, tackle global warming as well as climate change.
“It will also help to reposition the economy for sustainable growth and accelerate job creation since gas is believed to be the future of the nation’s economy.”
“So, to actualize this, we have met with stakeholders in Lagos, Enugu and we are now in Port Harcourt to actualize this shift. Next stop is Yola, Kano and Abuja
Ukoha said the Federal Government had taken steps to ensure that businesses and companies in Nigeria move from diesel to gas as an alternative source of energy.
“However, the Federal Government has in the last few years come up with programmes such as the Gas Expansion, and the Decades of Gas Programmes to bridge this gap.”
“Also, the Petroleum Industry Act, established within NMDPRA as a gas infrastructure fund, to enable more investments within this value chain and see that gas is delivered cheap to Nigerians, he said.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of Rivers State branch of the Petroleum Product, Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Francis Dimkpa, commended NMDPRA for taking steps to expand LPG utilization in the country.
“We are happy that Nigeria has taken a major step toward deepening gas utilization and penetration in the country.
“However, there are still several challenges bedeviling the industry that range from regulation issues; policy summersault; high cost of doing business and access to facilities, among others.
“NMDPRA wants us to move from diesel to gas but this can be fast achieved if we use local technologies to solve our local needs,”
“The adoption of local technologies for use in the industry would bring down the cost of doing business, and as such, crash the price of LPG in the country,” he said.
On his part, Rivers State Chapter Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers, NUPENG branch, Innocent Oparaodu said it is difficult for some people especially in the rural areas to afford the cooking gas because of the cost.
He urged the Authority to review the pricing of cooking gas to attract more utilization and penetration.
He also appealed to NMDPRA to sanction all illegal LPG skid operators within their operational cycle to create opportunities for legitimate marketers.