• ‘We‘re not aware of cabal in LPG business’
The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has identified infrastructure deficit, such as lack of receiving terminals, as the main cause of the problems in the supply and distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) also called cooking gas, across the country.
Its immediate past Managing Director, and now the Vice President, Safety and Environment (S&E), Shell Upstream International Leadership Team, Babs Omotowa, told The Nation that contrary to speculated causes of the problems that confront LPG supply locally, he said infrastructure is the major factor, adding that when it is addressed,its supply will immensely improve.
Omotowa who was reacting to question on the alleged hijack of cooking gas business by a cabal, which has been responsible for the high price of the commodity, said the NLNG is not aware of or in support of any cabal. He said the primary objective of the firm was to flood the country with the commodity but lamented that the aspiration is hampered by poor infrastructure as there are only two terminals that receive LPG all located in Lagos.
According to him, the firm is willing and ready to supply LPG to any terminal, adding that there is plan to build a new LPG terminal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and when it comes on stream, LPG will be supplied to it.
He said: “Those who say there are cabals would have to throw more light on who those cabals are. But NLNG supplies to terminals that exist. If a terminal doesn’t exist, we cannot supply to it. Today in Lagos, there are two terminals that can take LPG and we supply to those two terminals. “There are efforts to build terminals in Port Harcourt; when those ones are built, we will supply to them. So those who think they can bring any cabal that should build terminals or have that investment, let them do so that we can supply to them. We have no interest in any cabal or any one. We have been working since 2007 to improve LPG supply in the country when the refineries were unable to supply the product.
“NLNG has been the only supplier of the product since 2007. It supplies more than 80 per cent of LPG in the country and we do that up till today. I think the challenge in LPG is one around infrastructure. We need as a country to build more receiving terminals. The only two we have in Lagos is not enough. We have to build more terminals in Port Harcourt and Calabar. We have to invest in transportation of LPG from those terminals into the country either by rail or by trucks. We have to ensure as a country that we have enough distribution centres across the country. So there is quite a lot of infrastructure work that needs to be done.
“At NLNG, we are not aware of any cabal, we do not subscribe to any cabal. We supply to any terminal that is available. We are encouraging any person who is able to invest in any other terminal to invest so that the product can be made available. We are working with the government both the executive and the legislature on actually how to unblock all the challenges across the entire value chain so that LPG is available not just in Lagos but in Sokoto, Kano and Kaduna so that the issues around deforestation and people chopping trees can reduce and health and environmental concerns of people in those areas can be further improved.”
Source : ThenationonlineThenationonline