The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Marketers (NALPGAM) has expressed its concern over the increasing importation of sub-standard LPG cylinders into the country.
The President of the association, Mr Basil Ogbuanu, raised the concern in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
Ogbuanu said that less than one million cylinders were currently in circulation in the country because of the low percentage of LPG consumers.
He noted that out of the one million in circulation, half of the cylinders had expired.
According to him, the most worrisome problem is the fact that consumers are unaware that most of the cylinders have expired as the life span of most cylinders is limited to 15 years.
“LPG consumers are unaware of the safety steps to be taken for effective cylinder use; lack of knowledge is a factor.
“The development has prompted operators in the sector to invest heavily in branded cylinders.
The president stressed that importation of cylinders was also unhealthy for the Nigeria economy, noting that efforts should be made to build cylinders manufacturing plants in the country.
Ogbuanu explained that except the Federal Government intervened and ensured that gas cylinders were available and affordable, the consumption level might continue to drop.
“These cylinders are not enough in the country; the companies producing cylinders locally have all folded up, due to unfavourable government policy and inadequate power supply.
“Now, we import all cylinders that are being used in the country.
“A standard cylinder of 12.5kg will cost about N8, 500 in the market which an average Nigerian cannot afford.
“Instead of the Federal Government reducing the import duties payable on imported cylinders, it should rather increased it from five per cent to 20 per cent.’’
He appealed to dealers to adopt an innovative approach on price to boost cylinder circulation in the market, stating that LPG consumption was key in driving cylinder circulation.
The president said that if LPG consumption was low, there would be low circulation of cylinders in the market.
He suggested that government should find ways to make prices of LPG low to boost cylinder circulation.