N45 billion kerosene subsidy worries stakeholders
The payment of subsidy on the House Hold Kerosene (HHK) that is currently estimated at about N45 billion yearly has continued to trigger reactions from the industry stakeholders.
The government budgeted over N45 billion to subsidise kerosene in the 2015 budget alone. Besides, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which is the major importer of kerosene, had reportedly paid N1.7 trillion subsidy on kerosene between 2009 and 2014.
The stakeholders in Lagos recently believed that the Federal Government should rather promote and encourage clean energy alternatives such as gas that is abundantly available in the country.
The Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) has therefore urged the government to terminate the controversial kerosene subsidy scheme, which has gulped over N1.7 trillion in six years.
President of NLPGA, Dayo Adesina, told The Guradian on the sideline of the fifth annual gas conference organised by the NLPGA in Lagos that the government has a better alternative in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas to stop the subsidy scheme.
According to him, Nigeria has the potentials to save the N45 billion spent on kerosene subsidy yearly, if proper mercenaries were put in place by the Federal Government to enhance LPG utilisation.
Adesina, among other stakeholders bemoaned Nigeria’s per capita LPG consumption for being the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa.
Having expressed dissatisfaction with under-utilisation of the product, he advocated for good policy framework that would lift LPG investments in the country.
A Professor at the University of California, Berkley, Dr. Kirk Smith, declared that the premature death caused by dirty fuel in Nigeria has hit 70, 000 in one year.
Smith, in the same vein, maintained that kerosene and firewood will kill more if nothing is done to encourage cleaner fuel like as alternative fuel for cooking, powering machines, fuelling vehicles among others.
Delivering a paper entitled: “LPG and the health of the World’s Poor,” Smith said: “When firewood is used to produce it produces 400 cigarette per hour.”
Deputy President, NLPGA, Nuhu Yakubu, said: “The per capita consumption of Liquefied Natural Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas in Nigeria is the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa, urging the Federal Government to shift attention to gas utilisation in its quest to reduce carbon emissions.
His view was corroborated by LPG experts like Baylon Duru, Felix Ekundayo and Auwalu Ilu.
“Nigeria is the second largest producer of LPG in Africa and the sixth largest producer in the World. We produce over 4 million tonnes of LPG per annum and have the capacity to consume as much,” Ekundayo said.
“In addition, we flare an additional 1-2 million tonnes of LPG inland. Ironically, Nigeria also has the lowest per capita consumption of LPG in sub-Saharan Africa at 0.8kg per annum. Consumption in 2014 was 350, 000 tonnes,” Duru added.