Why price of cooking gas fluctuates, by DPR
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has blamed the unstable pricing of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or cooking gas on the non-regulation of the sector, market forces and importation.
At a zonal stakeholders’ meeting involving the DPR and LPG marketers in Warri, Delta State, the zonal controller, Asuquo Eyo, explained that most of the gas consumed in Nigeria were imported.
He said: “Gas is not a regulated product; it is a function of market forces, and market forces affect demand and supply.
“There are a lot of factors that affect supply. As you observed during our discussion today, most of the gas we utilise are imported. Until we have sufficient LPG internally, we keep depending on imports. When you depend on imports, a lot of factors come into play and so that affects price eventually.”
Eyo explained that the meeting was convened to sensitise stakeholders in the gas industry on safety and compliance to rules, to sustain the business make it profitable.
As a regulatory agency, the DPR expressed worry over accidents and fatalities in the gas business, saying that the development was the reason the DPR introduced Standard Operations Procedure (SOP)
The whole idea of SOP was to create unique standard procedures in every gas facility, he said, explaining that since the SOP introduction a few years ago, gas-related accidents in outlets had reduced and that the marketers had been kept abreast of safety procedures or chains of actions to follow in their operations.
He added, “When a customer comes in with a cylinder, how are you expected to move the cylinder? Are you to drag or carry them? How do you drop them? The training of staff and the rest of them has really reduced the case of incidents in most of our gas plants.”
Eyo said they were working to make more Nigerians use gas at home, adding that when the business is safe, a lot of non-users would become interested in gas utilisation and begin to use gas, which would reduce afforestation and environmental pollution.
The DPR chief frowned on the siting of gas refill plants in residential or built-up areas, and the concentration of gas plants in a certain area, saying that the development would create a volatile environment that could be dangerous to residents.
He disclosed that it was because of safety concerns that the DPR stopped the issuance of approvals for setting up gas refill points at fuel stations.
The DPR can’t be everywhere every time, he noted, urging the stakeholders to be law-abiding and follow established safety guidelines.
He also urged the public to provide useful information that helps stop accidents and check sharp practices like mobile gas trucks dispensing directly into cylinders in the streets.