By Prince Okafor
Despite its position as the second largest producer of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, industry expert have attributed blames to the government for stalling progress of LPG per capital usage in country.
According to Dr. Louis Ogbeifun of African Initiative for Transparency, Accountability and Responsible Leadership, AFRITAL, Nigeria progressing per capita usage of LPG has been stalled by failures traceable to systemic corruption, lack of political will to reviewing and implementing policies.
He further attributed the failure to rent-seeking, entrenching the culture of promoting conflict entrepreneurs, which leads to non-bankability of oil and gas investments and projects; and abandonment of projects, under-development of the market and hostile oil producing environments.
He said: “Under-utilization of the LPG, lack of effective planning for the use of the LPG, lack of political will and effective strategy to formulate and implement a reversal of the current export driven LPG strategy to one of increased domestic utilization, corrupt practices.
“A defective LPG penetration strategy, lack of enabling infrastructure, lack of effective regulatory mechanisms; the persistence of giving priority to PMS over Gas as a value based energy product, lack of critical and mature midstream infrastructure needed to achieve near-term gas based implementation strategy in Nigeria.
He stated: “Nigeria is a blessed with abundant and enormous gas resources that is capable of generating massive employment that would ease the pressure of unemployment on our teeming youths. Sadly, we have not fully harnessed the opportunities presented by the value chain of all the products available within the oil and gas streams.”
Speaking during a co-location training in Lagos organized by AFRITAL, Ogbeifun said: “Though the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has done well in its quest to earning foreign exchange for Nigeria and launching the country into the international markets, it has been unable to satisfy Nigeria’s domestic demands.
“For instance, Nigerian LPG production was estimated at 2 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) in 2016. But her annual per capita consumption of 2.3kg remains lower than the West African regional average of 3.5kg and the Sub-Saharan African average of 2.5kg.”
An Energy Consultant, Charles Mojomi, stated that, in trying to address some this gaps, or near absence of critical and mature midstream infrastructures (among others), to support gas-based industrialization (GBI) project in Nigeria, there is need for co-location.
He advised the federal government to adopt co-location concept as a strategy that will encourage and promote increased Gas-Based Industrialization, GBI investments in country.
Co-location concept is defined as a practice, which promotes optimisation through one or more plants sharing mature pre-existing infrastructure rather than building their own or waiting for a third party to do so.
He stated: “This concept is laudable and the strategy could encourage and promote increased GBI investments by the private sector; create a vibrant value chain, provide employment, substantially increase government’s revenue and the potential for reducing host community conflict in Niger Delta.
“On the flip side is the worrisome phenomenon of contestations, dysfunctions, skirmishes, stalling or total abandonment of developmental projects intended for the Niger Delta, which hitherto was ascribed to agitations for resource control; injustices perpetrated by authorities, unemployment, environmental degradation etc.
“While these are real concerns to the federal and the oil and gas producing states, research using the Macro Conflict Risk Impact Assessment (MCRIA) framework has however, shown that the continued violence in the Delta flows less from the earlier stated issues.”
“They tend to flow from the predatory nature of some actors and conflict entrepreneurs whose stock in trade is to instrument violence in their quest to monopolize illicit rents. These actors also manipulate the community engagement processes for their selfish ends.”