Nigeria’s cooking gas target wobbles as consumption hovers at 1mmt
Although Nigeria has set a target to increase domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) consumption of five million metric tonnes (mmt) by 2021, only one million tonnes of the product was consumed in the country last year.
The Federal Government had earlier in the year put the nation’s total gas reserves at 203.16 trillion cubic feet (TCF), a marginal increase of 1.16tcf or 0.57 per cent from the 202tcf recorded in 2019. Despite the huge resources, domestic consumption remain dismal.
In the absence of gas, most Nigerians usually resort to firewood, a development that has continued to fuel deforestation and threaten the country’s aspiration of transiting to cleaner fuel.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said Tuesday in Abuja that Nigeria consumed about one million tonnes of LPG in 2020 higher than 840,594.37 MT consumed in 2019, and 635,452.061MT in 2018.
Although the consumption in 2020 showed improvement in utilisation, it is a far cry from the five mmt targets by the government next year, an indication that the projection could remain unrealised.
Although Nigeria accounts for over 200 million of the 367 million people who live in West Africa, PPRA, in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Abdulkadir Saidu, said the current milestone has placed the country as the first in the region, and one of the leading LPG consuming nations on the continent.
He said the country is on track to meeting the 5mmt by 2022, provided stakeholders collectively sustain and ramp up intervention efforts and initiatives.
Saidu said the government’s resolve to deepen LPG penetration will create a healthier life for all Nigerians by providing access to a cleaner source of energy for cooking, vehicular transportation, and other domestic uses.
He said the one million MT domestic utilisation milestone is a testimony to the progress made so far in ensuring the provision of alternative sources of fuel for Nigerians other than the traditional petrol, diesel, and kerosene.
Reportedly, Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), increased its allocation of LPG to the domestic market from 350,000MT to 450,000MT in 2021, to support the project.
Also, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently commenced LPG production and load-out in its newly inaugurated, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) Oredo Gas handling facility, with an estimated production stream of 330MT daily.
According to Saidu, current consumption is largely driven by the impact of the Government’s policies and programmes to institute an enabling environment, to encourage new players (investors) in the sector, thereby fostering exponential growth as more Nigerians embrace the utilisation of LPG/CNG as fuel for their vehicles.
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