Nigeria: Govt Begins Clampdown On Roadside Cooking Gas Dealers

The federal government on Tuesday said it would commence the clampdown on illegal roadside LPG (cooking gas) dealers in a couple of weeks.

The Senior Technical Adviser, Downstream and Infrastructure, to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Brenda Ataga, gave the indication at a stakeholders' forum on LPG penetration in Abuja.

She said the government would soon launch a policy that would transfer the ownership of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or cooking gas cylinders from consumers to only marketers licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Ataga added that anyone caught selling LPG without the proper equipment and licence also risk jail term.

Speaking on the policy, she said the policy would require that the ownership of the cylinders rest strictly with the dealers and distributors, adding that this was part of strategy to deepen the penetration of LPG and address safety issues.

She said 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.

She said with the recent launch of LPG Micro Distribution Centres starting with the Nigerian Army barracks and cantonments, government was targeting 386,000 micro distribution centres across the country that would drive the initiative.

The government, she said, has directed all LPG skid operators to immediately convert their outlets to micro distribution centres or risk sanctions.

"We will inject 600,000 cylinders to these refilling plants and operators who convert their skid to micro-distribution centres.

"If you are caught selling on the streets without the proper equipment and licence there is a jail term attached to it (the offence). It is severe now because we are talking about loss of lives here. You are liable for murder as far as we are concerned," Ataga said.

She said government will immediately commence full enforcement at areas where micro-distribution centres have been inaugurated.

"The clampdown will down area by area. Areas where we have done full conversion, no resale of gas without licences will be allowed," she said.

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