By Yemie Adeoye
FOLLOWING the launchÂ Â of its gas-poweredÂ vehicle in Nigeria, Nipco Plc, one of the major players in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry has called out to the Federal Government to encourage importation of kits by giving concessions and other benefits to cars running on liquefied petroleum gas, LPG.
A top executive of the company, Mr. Ashish Vengurlekar made the appeal at the launch of the LPG- powered vehicle in Lagos recently.
He also pleaded with the government to make LPG available for vehicular consumption at subsidised rates in order to encourage change over of vehicles from Premium Motor Spirit, PMS to LPG.
He further noted that a reduced difference with domestic LPG pricing would invariably increase differential with PMS and make it a better, cheaper option for car owners, hence he wants government to maintain a 40 per cent differential with PMS as this is one of the major ways the impacts and benefits of Auto LPG could be felt.
â€œIn countries like Italy, Australia, India, Argentina, Brasil and many more, the governments are promoting the usage of LPG as automotive fuel by providing subsidies in product and components in a range of 15 per cent to 50 per cent. Itâ€™s very safe to use the the LPG in a car since the design is approved, proven and sound around the world, and the standards for application, storage and distribution already exist.
The LPG fuel systems have many in-built safety features and its fuel systems generally maintain their integrity in severe collisions and do not permit massive leaks. It is twice as heavy as air and unlike compressed natural gas, CNG, does not disperse easily in air.
It has flamability limits and auto ignition temperature is higher than natuarl gas while the accident statistics, though limited, indicates that LPG or propane is as safe as gasoline.â€
The company which recently announced a huge turnover of N43.501 billion for the year 2008, 8.19 per cent increase over N40.209 billion posted in the same period in 2007.
Profit-before-tax rose from N2.091 billion in 2007 to N2.147 billion in 2008 while profit-after-tax grew from N1.794 billion in 2007 to N1.837 billion in 2008 financial year.
Shareholdersâ€™ fund grew by 24 per cent from N5.676 billion in 2007 to N7.040 billion in 2008 indicating a physical monetary difference of N1.386 billion.
The result which was presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE and dispatched to the shareholders was deliberated upon by the companyâ€™s investors at its 5thÂ Annual General Meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.
At the meeting, the recommendations of the board of directors to offer a 225 kobo dividends over the N2.00 paid in 2007 to all stakeholders whose names appeared in the companyâ€™s register of members at the close of business on 1st May 2009 were considered.
A peep into the companyâ€™s balance sheet also shows that the net asset per share grew fromÂ 3.025 koboÂ to 3.752 kobo representing a percentage increase of 24.03 and a monetary difference of 727.00 kobo.
The moderate growth in the financials of the company is in fulfillment of the assurances of the Board and Management to continuously steer the ship of the organisation which most stakeholders have described as one of the fastest growing downstream operators in the nationâ€™sÂ oil and gas industry.
The company which began operation in July 2004 has not only been a reference point in the marketing of white products but also ventures into the gas marketing with the recent technical commissioning of its liquefied petroleumÂ gas plant on Dockyard Road, Apapa, Lagos.
The plant with a storage capacity of 5000MT and obviously the biggest in the country, is backed by enormous transport infrastructure comprising among others, 30 bulk tankers to convey products from the depot to all nooks and crannies of the nation.