In support of Nigeria’s effort to deepen Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) usage, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has given £30,000 grant to three Nigerian establishments, to promote the adoption of cooking gas in rural areas.
The initiative is being facilitated by the Centre for Climate Change and Development at the Alex Ekwueme University, Ndufu-Alike in Ebonyi, Techno Oil Ltd. and Africare, a non-governmental group.
DFID gave the grant as part of its Modern Energy Cooking Services-Technology Research Innovation for International Development.
Techno Oil and the other bodies, including a company, Schrodinger Greentech, have commenced collaboration on the implementation of a six-month research to achieve the goal for which the grant was provided.
The research is entitled: “Enhancing LPG Access for Semi-Urban Populations in Nigeria.”
Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development at the Alex Ekwueme University, disclosed the granting of the research grant to the management of Techno Oil in Lagos on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy visit to the management of the company.
According to him, the pilot scheme of the research, is slated to take off with branded Techno Oil LPG cylinders in two South-East communities, Arondizogu in Imo and Okpanku in Enugu State.
Okpanku is a farming community in the Aninri Local Government Area of Enugu State while Arondizuogu is a semi-rural community in the Ideato Local Government Area of Imo.
Okereke said the grant would to be used to procure and distribute Techno Oil branded 6kg cylinders to two women groups each in Okpanku and Arondizogu.
He said the research would adopt what he described as the TechnoGas Swap n’ Go Cylinder Refill, Exchange and Distribution model.
The lecturer said that training and awareness programmes would be provided to beneficiaries and communities on the manifold benefits of embracing modern household energy services and the use of LPG.
“The broad objective is to establish the extent to which incentive-based cooperative group, influences cylinder recirculation and to encourage women in the two communities to move away from health and environmentally damaging ‘dirty cooking’ to cleaner cooking with LPG.
Speaking after receiving the letter conveying the award, the Chief Executive Officer of Techno Oil, Mrs Nkechi Obi, described the development as another milestone for the company.
She said that Techno Oil had remained consistent in its drive to popularise cooking gas, noting that the company would sustain its vision of being a Nigerian company with global aspiration.
Obi said the award would propel Techno Oil to work assiduously to make LPG the energy of choice among Nigerians in their cooking needs.
According to her, Techno Oil has a dream to advance clean cooking in Nigeria and other countries in West Africa, to secure the environment for people residing in the sub-region.
She said that the company had set plans in motion to deepen LPG consumption with the building of an LPG cylinder manufacturing plant, to roll out enough cylinders for homes embracing LPG.
Obi restated the dangers associated with using solid fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, kerosene and other inefficient energy sources, saying that “LPG is the way to go for every home in Nigeria.’’
The Manager of the research team, Mr Stanley Ijeoma, described the initiative as a “unique blend of academia and industry pulling in the same direction’’.
He said that adoption of LPG would prevent up 93, 000 women and children from having to die while cooking for their families annually because of the dangers associated with cooking with inelegant energy sources.
The Country Officer of Africare, Dr Patrick Adah, pledged to bring the group’s experience and expertise in capacity building and locally-driven community behavioural change to bear on the initiative.