The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) says it is working towards distributing 5,000 6kg cylinders with burners to Nigerians free of charge before the year ends.
Mr Bassey Essien, executive secretary, NALPGAM, made the disclosure on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Essien said that the move by the marketers was part of efforts to deepen gas penetration in the country in line with the Decade of Gas Development initiative of the Federal Government.
He said: “In the past few years, we have distributed over 10,000 free cylinders to Nigerians.
“However, in 2020, almost every business was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we had to hold on a bit to see what was going on.
“For this year, we intend to continue the programme and we are looking at close to 5,000 cylinders.
“We have done it in Lagos and other places before, so, for now, we are looking at going towards the eastern part of the country such as the suburbs of Enugu or Anambra states. We have not finalised the plan but we are working towards it.”
Essien noted that the use of unclean cooking energy like charcoal and firewood had negative effect on the climate due to deforestation and creation of arid land.
He said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the usage of unclean sources of cooking accounts for many cases of respiratory tract diseases and deaths, particularly among women and female children.
The executive secretary also decried the continued increment in the prices of cooking gas across the country, noting that it was being caused by a huge supply gap.
Essien said Nigerians consumed over one million metric tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas in 2020, with only about 40 per cent supplied by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company.
He said the devaluation of the naira and the dollarisation of the market were part of the forces responsible for the increment in gas prices.
“At the end of the day, this increment translates to the ordinary consumers because the people selling the product have to make profit.
“We think the way forward is for government to direct all local gas producers to send the product first to the domestic market to meet the local demand.
“That is what we call the full domestication of every molecule of gas produced in Nigeria.
“If we are able to do this, we won’t be having this problem and more Nigerians will be encouraged to embrace using gas in their homes,” Essien said. (NAN)