By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Federal Government says it will inject 600,000 gas cylinders to support effort to boost Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, penetration in the country.
Ms Brenda Ataga, Special adviser on Gas to the Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this at the stakeholders’ forum on LPG penetration in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to her, from our estimation, we have 386,000 micro distribution centres across the country. We have issued a few licenses but I don’t have the total number here.
“We will inject 600,000 cylinders to filling plants and Skid owners that have converted their skids to micro distribution centres,” she said.
She said that the Federal Government would come up with a policy that would remove the ownership of LPG cylinders from consumers.
Ataga added that the policy would require that the ownership of the cylinders rests strictly with the dealers and distributors as part of strategy to deepen the penetration of LPG.
The minister’s aide said that cylinders would be distributed on credit, with a pre-payment period of 18 months.
Commenting on the roadside sellers or illegal gas sellers, Ataga said that government would commence awareness campaign to help sensitise people to the right procedures.
She said that after awareness the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) would commence clamping down on illegal or road side sellers.
“Actually, enforcement will start next week, we will start notifying people from today; there will be jingles in the media, so that people will understand what we are talking about.
“The clamp down will be done area by area where convention of Skids had be done and where illegal sellers have been warned,” she added.
Ataga said that over a million illegal retailers are currently existing in the country, adding that government has planned to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) to achieve its target.
Mr Umar Gwandu of DPR called on all stakeholders and Nigerians to support government’s effort to ensure the success of LPG penetration in the country.
He promised that DPR would put strategy in place to help all stakeholders key in properly.
Also, Commandant Patrick Ukpa of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, FCT command assured the agency of maximum support to help government achieve LPG penetration in the country.
“There is no business without regulations, sensitising people to the right thing is a good way to start.
“As a law enforcement agency, we must help to stop all illegal businesses; we all need to cooperate to ensure sanity in our country,” he said