By Udeme Akpan
THE ex-depot price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas may crash by about 20 per cent in the next few weeks as stakeholders move to improve distribution.
Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, disclosed that dearth of infrastructure at jetties remained a factor responsible for skyrocketing prices of LPG.
According to him, N150 million intervention fund has been set aside for the rehabilitation of three jetties in Apapa, which are Petroleum Wharf Apapa (PWA), New Oil Jetty (NOJ) and Bulk Oil Platform (BOP).
He stated that as part of NLNG’s constant advocacy on helping to build a better Nigeria, it was focusing on more supply of LPG in a bid to deepen its usage in the country, lamenting that over 100,000 women die yearly from inhalation of smoke from dirty fuels.
“At NLNG, we stay committed to the development of Nigeria. So as part of our vision of helping to build a better Nigeria, we focus on energy, by helping to bring efficient energy into the country. “In 2007, when there was a shortage of LPG in the market, NLNG intervened and we are glad to say that as a result of NLNG’s intervention, volume consumed has scaled up to over 250,000 tonnes and we are looking to scale the volume up more as the company has set aside 350,000 tonnes for the market.’’
The President of the National Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM), Basil Ogbuanu said that the reasons for the high LPG price witnessed in the country range from mundane to critical logistics factors.
He said that these included a lack of awareness that gas is a cheaper and healthier cooking fuel; generic misconception of safety issues and recurrent scarcity occasioned by policy instability.
Ogbuana said that more technical challenges included the logistics of supply, storage and distribution as well as market manipulation among others.
He also identified the issue of an unspoken rule which gives priority to PMS and jet fuel laden vessels at the New Oil Jetty (NOJ) at the expense LPG and AGO among others on the premise of the perceived national significance of the aforementioned fuels.