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FG MOVES TO TACKLE RISING PRICE OF LPG .... Says Nigeria Should Have Nothing To Do With Energy Poverty.

Hon. Ekperikpo Ekpo
Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas)

"The Workshop is aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Gas Sector for optimal performance, in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to unlock our abundant gas resources for economic development and poverty eradication." Ekperikpo Ekpo, Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas).

Amidst the rising cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG, otherwise known as  Cooking Gas, an essential part of many homes in Nigeria, the Federal Goverment has moved in to address the escalating price by placing a halt on the exportation of the product in order to crash the hike.

Addressing Concerns raised by media outfits shortly after his address to open the session, Mr Ekpo disclosed that going forward, "All LPG produced with the country will have to be domesticated to address the escalating price."

He appealed for calm as "things will turn around for good and as such, we do not need to make noise about it. This is why we are having this engagement to find out the problems and address them once and for all."

Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr. Ekperikpo Ekpo on Thursday in Abuja revealed at the opening session of an Internal Stakeholders Workshop, under the theme: "Harnessing Nigeria’s Proven Gas Reserves for Economic Growth and Development", is aimed at interacting with all stakeholders across the gas value chain towards improving the sector.

"When this is done, the volume will increase and of course, the price will automatically crash," he said.

Responding to questions, Mr. Ekpo  stressed that; "the moment I get clearer pictures about it, I will address you accordingly. 

In a statement issued and signed by Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations Department of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo stressed that Nigeria should have nothing to do with energy poverty given her abundant proven gas reserve of over 208Tcf.

The Minister noted that, "The Workshop is aimed at repositioning the Nigerian Gas Sector for optimal performance, in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda to unlock our abundant gas resources for economic development and poverty eradication."

Hon. Ekperikpo Ekpo and Internal Stakeholders at the meeting

Thursday's engagement with the internal stakeholders in the gas sector was a follow-up to an earlier one held with the external stakeholders which comprised the various Associations and Groups operating across the Gas Value Chain, on February 6th, 2024. 

"The engagement with the external stakeholders provided a platform for him to hear and interface with them with a view to understanding the pain points of the Industry Operators. 

Having heard from the industry operators, Ekpo stated that it was his expectation that as Policymakers, Regulators and Policy implementers the Ministry and her Agencies should internalize the feedback from the Stakeholders and Customers to proffer workable solutions to tackle the issues bedevilling the nation’s Gas sector, adding that, it was imperative to tackle these challenges head-on. 

In a bid to ensure maximum performance and accountability in government, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, through the office of the Special Adviser on Policy and Coordination, had released the Presidential Priorities and Ministerial Deliverables for 2023 – 2027 to create a performance tracking mechanism for the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Agencies under his purview.

Mr Ekpo pointed out that the theme for the Workshop “Harnessing Nigeria’s Proven Gas Reserves for Economic Growth and Development”, was apt and provided a platform to galvanize actions and take necessary steps to release Nigeria's abundant gas reserves to accelerate industrialization and develop the economy for the good of the teeming population. 

"It is part of it that we are having this engagement to know what is wrong and address it once and for all."

With regards to converting vehicles to CNG powered, the Minister recalled that a Presidential initiative was set up before the inauguration of the Ministers. "I am interfacing with them, and the committee is working to ensure that. We are meeting with the regulators on a daily basis in ensuring we crash the price"

In  her presentation at the workshop,  the Director of Gas in the Ministry, Mrs. Oluremi Komolafe, highlighted the submissions and expectations of the various associations and groups operating in the gas sector at the consultation meeting of 6th February, 2024 and the recommended solutions.

Other highlights of the workshop were presentations by the Heads of various Agencies of the Ministry and the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria as well as panel discussions where sectorial issues were discussed and solutions proffered.

Speaking on the recommendations by the operators, she said they called for balancing gas pricing while considering the impact on the average consumer is imperative for sustainable sectoral growth.

Komolafe said the LPG retailers urged the Minister to look into the issue of soaring price of cooking gas as it had become relatively un-affordable to the common man, stressing that the surge in price was capable of jeopardising the clean cooking initiative and made the use of charcoal attractive and cheaper alternative.

“They also mentioned the issue of substandard gas cylinders as a great challenge and called on the Ministry to look into the issue and enact a national cylinder and accessories policy to curb it,” she said.

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