Stakeholders in the gas sector of Nigeria's hydrocarbon industry have stressed the need for the Federal Government to approve a policy document to encourage rapid growth in domestic consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), otherwise called cooking gas.
This recommendation was part of the outcome of the deliberations of the stakeholders, who gathered in Abuja at the weekend during an interactive policy consultation on how to create awareness on the benefits of the use of LPG.
The summit, which was declared open by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, and co-sponsored by NIPCO Plc also sought to fashion out the best ways for the country to deepen the LPG market.
Attended by over 100 participants, the forum agreed that even though LPG was a critical component of the federal government's gas master plan launched in 2010, there was still need for policy document to harness this resource and deepen its domestic utilisation, especially as cooking fuel.
The participants articulated a policy paper on domestic LPG usage for consideration by the federal government
Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPRRA), Mr. Reginald Stanley, who facilitated the summit, urged all stakeholders to show keen interest in the policy document with a view to finalising it before the end of this January 2013 for submission to the federal government for approval.
Lead presenter and Managing Director of NIPCO Plc, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy, said his company supported the summit as part of its conscious initiative of deepening the LPG market through the development of a well- articulated policy for the benefit of all stakeholders.
He said his company had over the years put in place a massive 4,500 metric tonnes storage facility and supported plethora of events for stakeholders to deepen the domestic gas market.
According to him, these initiatives are primarily aimed at providing veritable platforms for a sustained campaign on the economic and environmental benefits of LPG as domestic fuel.
Venkatapathy explained that as part of the company's conscious resolve to improve access to gas, LPG skids have been deployed to major cities across the country, using some of the company's branded outlets.
"The skid, which is akin to a mini gas station, offers dual purposes. It can be used to refill for domestic gas cylinders and also to re -fuel vehicles using LPG as auto fuel with its attendant economic and environmental benefits," he said.
He restated his company's determination to continue to increase gas infrastructure in the country as epitomised in its massive investments, running into billions of naira in the sector.
He commended the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for its vision and assertion that LPG would remain one of the veritable engines for economic growth of the nation in line with the gas master plan.
Venkatapathy also commended the efforts of the leadership of the Nigerian LP Gas Association (NLPGA) for its various advocacy initiatives, which largely brought about the strategic policy consultations at the two-day conference.