By Obas Esiedesa – Abuja
The Federal Government has rolled out plans to ensure the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, as cooking fuel grows from the current five per cent to 90 per cent in the next ten years.
The government expressed concern that over 900,000 people are negatively impacted annually from the use of kerosene, firewood and charcoal in cooking across Nigeria.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day National LPG sensitization and awareness campaign in Abuja on Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said effective implementation of the National LPG Expansion Plan, NLEIP, would move Nigerians away from using cooking fuel that are harmful to health and environment to cleaner and more efficient energy.
Prof. Osinbajo who was represented by the NLEIP Programme Manager in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Dayo Adeshina emphasized the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure seamless implementation of the programme initiated to promote the use of LPG in the country.
The workshop had the theme: ‘Stimulating National Socioeconomic Growth Through LPG Adoption and Expansion’.
Vice President Osinbajo explained that the government has in place measures to ensure that cooking gas becomes affordable by providing five to ten million gas cylinders in the next one year.
He pointed out that greenhouse gas emissions have affected the entire planet including Nigeria, stressing that concerted effort must be made to reduce the effects in the country.
According to him, “Greenhouse gas emissions have affected the entire planet and Nigeria is not an exception.
“You can see from the way has changed significantly, the intensity of the rains and the storms are much higher, the heat from the dry season is quite intense.
“So it is critical that we all join hands together to ensure that various programmes that the Federal Government has put together are implemented”.
Earlier, Mr Adeshina said the national LPG expansion programme campaign would target 12 states across the six geo-political zones as pilot, with the rest of the country coming later.
He listed the states as Sokoto and Katsina in North West; Bauchi and Gombe in North East; Enugu and Ebonyi in South East; Delta and Bayelsa in South South; Lagos and Ogun in South West; and FCT and Niger in North Central.
He disclosed that “every year almost 900,000 people are affected by the effects of dirty fuels like firewood and charcoal. That figure is more than the total number of people that suffer from malaria and tuberculosis together.
“So the government’s plan is to displace the energy mix for cooking which currently stands at firewood 60 percent, kerosene 30 percent, LPG 5 percent and charcoal 5 percent.
“The Government’s ambition is to revised that and change that 5 percent for LPG to 90 percent in 10 years”.
Adeshina stated that plan would be achieved through applying what he called 4As (Accessibility, Acceptability, Affordability, and Availability).
He also explained that the Federal Government’s plan to convert 1,000 vehicles to the use of auto gas as fuel underlines its determination for gas expansion implementation project.
Also speaking, the Deputy Managing Director of the Nigeria LNG Limited, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu said the company was doing a lot to move gas into the domestic market to support governments programme.
He noted that as the expansion plan progresses, the percentage of Nigerians using LPG would rise because gas would become the energy of choice for many people.
On her part, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Pauline Tallen said for the programme to be successful it must be deliberately targeted at women who bear the full impact of using unclean fuel for cooking.