By Michael Eboh
Despite abundance of gas in Nigeria, 71.35 per cent of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, also known as cooking gas, consumed in the country in the month of August 2020 were imported, according to data obtained from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA.
This was in sharp contrast to claims by the Federal Government that it is striving to promote increased utilization of Nigeria’s huge gas resources, put at about 203.16 trillion cubic feet, in a bid to cushion the effect of rising PMS prices, preserve the environment, improve power supply and also conserve Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves.
According to the PPPRA report of LPG supplied in August 2020, a total of 123,554.329 metric tonnes, MT of LPG in vacuum, VAC, was supplied in Nigeria in the month under review, by six companies, out of which 88,157.108 MT (VAC) of LPG were imported, while 35,397.221 MT(VAC) were sourced locally.
The volume of cooking gas imported into the country in August 2020, by four companies, represented a rise of 44.44 per cent, compared to 61,035.814 MT (VAC) imported in July 2020, and also represented an increase of 7.71 per cent compared to 81,848.585 MT (VAC) imported in August 2019.
On the other hand, the volume of LPG sourced locally for consumption was 52.84 per cent lower than the 75,062.834 MT (VAC) of LPG sourced locally in July 2020.
However, the total number of cooking gas supplied in August 2020, was 9.22 per cent lower than the 136,098.648 MT(VAC) of LPG imported in July 2020 and 50.96 per cent higher than the 81,848.585 MT (VAC) supplied in August 2019.
Specifically, in July 2020, a total of 136,098.648 MT (VAC) of LPG was supplied, with 61,035.814 MT (VAC) of LPG imported, while 75,062.834 MT (VAC) was sourced locally; while in August 2020, 100 per cent of the 81,848.585 MT(VAC) of LPG supplied were imported into the country.
Algasco LPG Services Limited, a subsidiary of Vitol, was the highest importer of the commodity into the country in August 2020, with 43,888 MT (VAC) of LPG, representing 48.78 per cent of the total import and 35.52 per cent of total LPG supplied in the period under review.
Other importers of the commodity into the country are: Matrix Energy, 19,770 MT (VAC); Prudent Energy and Services Limited, 9,568 MT (VAC) of LPG; and NIPCO, 10,893 MT (VAC) of LPG.
On the other hand, of the 35,397.221 MT (VAC) of LPG sources locally in August, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, supplied 3,634.401 MT (VAC) ; NIPCO supplied 9,383.680 MT (VAC); Algasco, 4,107.667 MT (VAC) and Stockgap Fuels Limited, 9,058.139 MT (VAC).
The products were discharged at Lister Jetty, Apapa; Matrix Jetty, Warri; Prudent Energy Jetty, Oghara; Bulk Oil Plant, Apapa; North Oil Jetty and Stockgap Jetty, Port Harcourt.
The fact that Nigeria continues to import cooking gas leaves much to be desired, especially when viewed against the huge gas resources in the country and the launch of the National Gas Expansion Programme, NGEP, which seeks to increase gas utilization in Nigeria, through the auto-gas scheme and LPG programme.
The import of cooking gas is reminiscent of development with PMS, where despite having abundance of crude oil, the country continues to import PMS, spending a huge portion of its foreign exchange on the importation and also spending huge amount of money to subsidise the product, among others.
Specifically, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had stated that the implementation of the NGEP would deepen gas usage in the country and would be executed alongside the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, NGFCP, and the National Gas Transportation Network Code, NGTNC.