ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, has waded into the challenges of the constant price increment of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Nigeria’s domestic market.
The intervention on LPG (cooking gas) followed the rise in the price of LPG per kg in recent months, from about N700 to above N900 in parts of the country.
“With the exponential increase in the price of LPG, there is a need for the Federal Government to intervene, and I am that representative at this moment,” Mr Ekpo said.
According to a statement by Louis Ibah, the minister’s spokeswoman, after a stakeholders’ meeting, Mr Ekpo mandated a committee headed by Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), to find a solution within one week.
The meeting had in attendance top officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited, led by Sansay Narasimha; NMDPRA, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed; and NNPC Ltd.
Mr Ekpo mandated the committee to recommend the best way to boost supplies and crash LPG prices, saying that the key challenges identified as responsible for the price increase included FX sourcing for imports and insufficient supply to the domestic market by producers.
He expressed the concerns of President Bola Tinubu over the astronomical increase in the price of cooking gas and the attendant hardship for the majority of citizens.
The minister noted that the increase manifested when some multinational firms were more concerned with gas exports without dedicating huge volumes to the domestic market.
Mr Ekpo said this was unacceptable and should be discouraged since the country had abundant gas reserves.
“We acknowledge that some producers are exporting while we are faced with the challenges of importation. Public interest is the overriding interest all over the world for the government, and the demand for LPG will increase as we approach December,” explained the minister.
He noted that the firms “have a public service obligation to collaborate with the government to ensure the security of gas supplies,” calling for the need to “bend backwards and find solutions to ensure that we have sufficient supply and stability in country and that Nigerians have gas.”