February 25, 2024

Massive protests over hike in cooking gas, as FG considers measures to reduce price

By Our Reporter

Following pockets of protests against hike in the prices of cooking gas and increasing hardships in Minna,Kogi Kano and other areas, the Federal Government has said it will consider measures to significantly reduce the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), otherwise known as cooking gas.

The administration also noted that it will give consideration to those measures that will quarrantee the domestication and penetration of the LPG towards ensuring accessibility and availability for consumers across the country.

Mr Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), made this known at a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting in Abuja.

Ekpo said that prioritising the domestication and penetration of the LPG was one of the three priority areas of President Bola Tinubu-led administration.
But analysts have condemned Ekpo’s statement as an afterthought. Dr.Olufemi Omoyele, head of the Entrepreneurship Studies at Osun State University, said ” Were not aware of the rising prices, and the attendant untold hardships before the protests started sprouting out, if it was true as claimed by the minister that the Tinubu administration has as one of it’s cardinal agenda, prioritizing domestication and penetration of LPG why didn’t they do it earlier.”

The minister further pointed out another area as where the government is intensifying efforts to increase upstream gas production to bridge supply and improve strategic economic sectors like Gas to Power, Gas-Based Industries (GBIs), and Gas for Export.

According to the minister:

“It is imperative that we work together to unlock more resources to provide gas for power, GBIs, LNG export, and domestic use.

(This will) foster economic growth, ensure energy security and eradicate poverty, a cardinal objective of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

“Nigeria is positioned as one of the leading gas-rich countries in the world. We have, however, not unlocked the full potential of this valuable resource.

“This underperformance can be attributed to gas flaring, inadequate infrastructure, pricing concerns, policy and regulatory gaps, and limited funding.

“(It also include) environmental concerns, the growing urgency for a smooth energy transition as well as a lack of comprehensive gas development blueprint,’’ he said.

The minister said that the government was committed to developing an adaptable roadmap that reflects collective intelligence.

He said that government would also learn collaboratively and act decisively to create an environment that fosters growth, innovation, and sustainable development.

On his own, Alhaji Abubakar Shettima, National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said the organization was to collaborate with the government towards the actualisation of the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and LPG use.

“IPMAN has the highest number of retail outlets nationwide for LPG and that of CNG will increase through our full partnership in the gas programmes of the government.

“Though the cost of LPG is a bit higher but when you compare with other sources of energy, LPG is still cheaper than kerosene. There is need to reduce the cost of petroleum products through the use of CNG,’’ he said.