Government begins clampdown on roadside cooking gas retailers
The Federal Government has restated that roadside retailers sellers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or cooking gas will face prosecution from next week.It explained that the clampdown is aimed at addressing the inherent dangers in roadside selling of the product, sanitise the market and increase gas penetration and use in the country.
Announcing a new value chain for the development of the LPG sector yesterday in Abuja, Brenda Ataga, Senior Special Adviser to Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu on Downstream, said consumers would no longer own gas cylinders.With the new development consumers would be provided new cylinders free of charge to remove expired and unsafe cylinders from households across the country.
Ataga said government has earmarked 380, 000 micro distribution centres in all local governments in the country and have already issued some licenses to beneficiaries.She explained that the micro-distribution centres would replace illegal and unsafe practices and standardise reselling of gas, as kerosene and firewood sellers would be converted to LPG resellers in their own vicinities.
Also, representatives of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), trade associations and security agencies present at the event equally vowed to ensure full implementation of the plan.“To start with, we will inject 600, 000 cylinders to the retailers through filling station plants. There is a jail term for those who will be caught selling on the streets without proper equipment or licence. It is severe because we are talking about loss of lives here.
The enforcement will start next week. Jingles will start notifying people. The clampdown will be done area by area, especially areas where we have done full conversion,” she stated. Ataga added that government has already removed Value Added Tax (VAT) on cooking gas and would provide free cylinders to Nigerians through structured micro distribution centres in all local government areas in the country.
“Our plan with LPG is to create about 500,000 jobs and revise the LPG ecosystem to give opportunity for youths and women to be financially included in the retailing of LPG and in doing that we have launched micro distribution centreswith the army,” Ataga said.
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