ByÂ Â Dotun Ibiwoye
DESPITE the slowdown in the economy brought about by the global financial crisis, an expert in the oil and gas sector has stated that the liquified petroleum gas (LPG) industry remained buoyant and has enjoyed steady increase over the past months.
According to Engr.Achigbu Lawrence, Managing Director, Chimons Gas Limited, the steadiness of the market is due to the fact that Nigerians are embracing LPG.|
â€œIf it is meltdown or melt up, people have to cook. In this part of the world, people have to cook, another lacuna is that peopleâ€™s purchasing power has been eroded so that is shrinking our market and when you also look at the competitiveness, the rest feels that they can use electricity to cook.â€ he said.
He added further: â€œKerosene is not readily available these days. The market has been steady because we have not actually experience so much of a hiccup, the only challenge is that a lot of people are now trying to come on board, especially big time players- People who have made so much moneyâ€.
Lawrence also reiterated that expertise and knowledge of the industry gives an edge to the players involved which enables them to strengthen the LPG market.
â€œThe margins are still high but we will continue to struggle. We understand the dynamics of the market so we are not going to make anyone to chase us away, and also begin to realise that the margins are alright.â€
Meantime,Â Lawrence hasÂ chided the federal governmentÂ on its failure to encourage the use of LPG in the country by unnecessarily increasing the custom duties for its equipment.
Said he: â€œThe government not being stable with their policies becauseÂ we have been talking about the need to bring equipments to the country as related to gas at reasonable custom duties, by January this year they increased it by 20%.â€
â€œWhen we want to bring in more of cylinders for people to use instead of using kerosene stove. Why did they (government) need to take it up?â€