As the Yuletide celebration season is fast approaching and with consumers lamenting the surging prices of commodities, the Federal Government has set up a committee with a mandate to make recommendations on how to boost domestic supplies of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas.
The Committee was set up by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, and he charged members to submit the committee’s recommendation within a week.
A statement by spokesman to the Minister, Louis Ibah, indicated that the committee was headed by the CEO of the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Engr. Farouk Ahmed,
According to him, the initiative became imperative as the product’s price continued to rise unabated in the last three months, thereby compelling many households to resort to alternative cooking fuel sources most of which are not environment-friendly.
Ekpo expressed President Bola Tinubu’s concern on the surging price of cooking gas and the attendant hardships on majority of citizens.
The Minister, who noted that Nigeria remained abundantly endowed with gas reserves, said the situation where some of the multinational firms were more concerned with gas exports without dedicating enough volumes for the domestic market was unacceptable and should be discouraged.
He said: “With the exponential increase in the price of LPG, there is the need for the Federal Government to intervene and I am representing this at this moment. We acknowledge that some producers are exporting while we are faced with the challenges of importation.
“Public interest is the overriding interest all over the world for the government, the demand for LPG will increase as we approach December…you have a public service obligation to collaborate with the government to ensure security of gas supply, we need to therefore bend backwards and find solutions, to ensure that we have sufficient supply and stability in-country and that Nigerians have gas”, Ekpo added.
It would be recalled that the Managing Director of NIPCO Plc, Mr. Suresh Kumar, recently raised the alarm that only 10% of those living in rural areas had access to cooking gas compared to the 90% in urban areas.
To reverse the low consumption rate of cooking gas in rural areas, the industry top player advocated the deepening of the commodity in rural areas even as he hinted that NIPCO was planning to deploy 50 skids plants to rural communities within the next two years.