The Federal Government has said it will soon stop ownership of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, cylinders by consumers.
The Senior Technical Assistant to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Brenda Ataga, who stated this, said the move is to help deepen the use of LPG, also known as cooking gas.
According to Ataga, who spoke at a stakeholders’ forum on LPG penetration in Abuja in Tuesday, the Federal Government had reached an agreement with two original cylinder manufacturers to deliver 600,000 cylinders to LPG distributors on credit, with a pre-payment period of 18 months.
Ataga also noted that the planned policy on gas cylinders would require that the ownership of the facility “rests strictly on the dealers and distributors.”
This, according to her, would not just ensure the deepening of the penetration and usage of LPG across the country, but also address safety issues.
She said the Federal Government would soon commence a clampdown on illegal roadside LPG dealers and urged operators to immediately convert their outlets to micro distribution centres before the beginning of the enforcement.
“The MDCs will essentially create and introduce into the market what we call the cylinder exchange programme, whereby the cylinders are owned by the distributors.
“There is no need for you to decant for anybody that comes in, and that eliminates illegal risks as well. You would fill them at the refill plants that would be tied to you and exchange it with your customers because you know your customers already.
“Your customers pay for only the content, while you own the cylinders and control the management of those cylinders”, Ataga said.
Speaking further on the reasons for the new policy, Ataga said: “It is for us to be able to, at any point in time, discern and discover cylinders that are bad, cylinders that need recertification and cylinders that need to be removed from circulation.
“We put that onus on distributors going forward, to support the safe and standard method of selling LPG. I tell you today that Nigeria is the only country in West Africa that does not practice the re-circulation model. Everyone has moved away from this because again, most of the population cannot afford cylinders; so, you have to remove that cost from them.”