The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,.Mele Kyari, has said that the corporation “is working with
relevant agencies to ensure that the price of cooking gas is affordable”. It will do that by
increasing the volume supplied to the domestic market. He said, “Today, this country is undersupplied with gas; we can tell you that we are having difficulty filling our network across the country with
gas. So that means that once supply is weak, it will affect pricing.
“Today, the supply mechanism of LPG is very weak. So we are collaborating extensively to ensure that we are able to extract LPG from our gas
resources so that it can be made available to the market.
To make price more affordable, we are working towards providing more volume of gas into the domestic market. By doing this, we make it very
close to home and extend the networks, once supply is high, it will definitely bring down the prices.”
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Department of Petroleum Resources, Sarki Auwalu, announced plans to increase gas production to 230 trillion cubic feet by 2030. “Let me take this opportunity to inform the GMD of the NNPC that as at last year, we were able to increase the gas reserve with 3.6tcf.”
On September 6, we published an editorial “A welcome decision but…”, commending plans by the federal government to reduce the cost of industrial gas and making a case for the price of cooking gas to come down too. The editorial read in part…. “However, we are just worried about the high cost of cooking which has risen by more than 100 percent. Manufactures say the reason is that 75% of the commodity is imported and also because the government has doubled import duty. They demand that it allow the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to increase its cooking gas production quota to reduce the high cost of the commodity.
‘We support their request. The ever rising price of cooking gas means less demand and loss of profit for producers. The multiplier effect is that low income consumers who can no longer afford gas and cannot revert to even kerosene because it is costlier will now go back to charcoal. This will cause more felling of trees to make fuel wood.
Tree felling will hasten desertation, something the government is pushing to stop. Desertation is bad for agriculture because it causes aridity and low crop. The government wants to grow agriculture’s contribution to the GDP by more than its present 2%. Unstoppable desertation will make this goal harder to achieve. This is why we are making a case for a reduced cost of cooking gas so that people will not go back to cutting down trees for fuel wood.”
By accepting our case, the government has done the right thing. We commend its sincerity of purpose and conviction of courage too. Well done.