In an apparent reaction to the prevailing soaring cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), stakeholders in that sub-sector have explained that lack of jetties and high ship turn- around- time are some of the major causes of the problem.
The soaring price of LPG which is also serves as feedstock for industrial purposes, power generation and domestic use in the country is generating a lot of concern for stakeholders as cooking gas all over the country is still being sold for exorbitant prices of N3, 500.
Industry sources expressed shock that even though Nigeria exports about two million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas annually, it cost a lot more to buy LPG in Nigeria when compared with the fact that it costs as low as between N750 and N800 in other countries.
They also identified lack of adequate LPG vessels and enough jetties as some of the factors responsible, saying that there are not enough jetties for the LPG vessels to berth and this has led to shortfalls in supply.
Mr. Raymond Ugwuanyi , a manager at Petrochin Chemicals Ltd, a frontline private investor and dealer in LPG confirmed in a chat with Shipping Position Weekly that vessels bringing in LPG products usually take days and sometimes months to discharge their cargo because of the preference for PMS and the AGO laden vessels.
He said “the ship that brought in PMS will have to be allowed to finish discharging products which normally takes days while the LPG is kept waiting on the line for months”.
Ugwuanyi recalled also that directives had been issued to all companies operating in that sub-sector of the oil and gas industry to deliver liquefied petroleum gas to Nigerians and to inform the NNPC of any constraints or delays they might have with its agencies in the course of executing their projects for prompt intervention and solution, but lamented that such complaints are yet to yield possible fruits as the prices still remain the same.
He said that more private investors’ collaborations should be encouraged as there are very few jetties in Lagos state that engage in importation of LPG or that have an LPG plant. He however identified NIPCO, Folawiyo and Lister.
Investigations conducted by Shipping Position Weekly at a refilling station revealed that a 50kg of cooking gas still goes for N13, 000 as against the N10,000 obtainable last year and also the 25kg is sold for N6,500 while the 12.5kg still goes for as high as N3,500.