Lagos ‘ports’ from kerosene, firewood as Fashola launches LPG initiative

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babatunde_fasholaGovernor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Tuesday launched the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder initiative for clean and green environment in the state, saying it is a step towards taking the people away from the old fashioned and harmful ways of cooking with firewood and charcoal.

He added that in Africa, Nigeria is the largest producer of the commodity but unfortunately ranks very low in Africa in per capita consumption of LPG and urged everyone to ‘port’ from kerosene and firewood to LPG, saying: “Lagos don port o”.

The governor, who spoke at the Masha Roundabout venue of the first skid- mounted LPG Plant, said with this latest initiative, the state has demonstrated that cooking gas is no longer the preserve of the rich alone.

“Our support for this initiative is reflected in the state government’s intervention of providing some financial assistance in reducing the initial cost of specific cylinder sizes to our citizens, particularly those in the rural areas and/or in the low income bracket. This is our support for the poor for whom we remain committed to deliver a better life.

“In this way, we hope to bridge the gap between the rich and poor by raising the quality of life of our vulnerable people. In this way, we expect that we will begin to move our people away from the risk of death by fuel explosion when they desperately search for kerosene and lose their lives in a country that has so much proven gas reserves,” he stated.

Fashola said Liquefied Petroleum Gas’s positive social and environmental impact are considerable in terms of low Green House Gas (GHG’s) Emissions and that government expects that it will take the people away from an unhealthy environment to a cleaner and healthier one, free of respiratory and other life threatening diseases.

He explained that the state government has established a partnership with the LPG group at the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce through its members such as Oando, Gas Terminalling, Chimons and Tewa Gas who already have on ground certified and safe cylinders of various sizes.

Fashola gave a commitment that the present administration will continue with its sensitisation and advocacy programme to the public on the need to be vigilant, understand the safety aspects of the cylinders and its proper use and also request that members of the public report uncertified cylinders/unscrupulous suppliers to the relevant authorities.

“Today, we are launching the first Skid-mounted LPG Plant right here in Surulere. There will be further skid-mounted plants deployed in various Local Government Areas (LGA) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) for gas availability and easy refill of LPG, so that LPG becomes as omnipresent as other cooking fuels currently are.

“The beauty of these Skid plants is that our citizens are able to go there and refill their empty cylinders with little or as much gas as they can afford. It is pay as you go and pay as you can afford, but it will no longer be the exclusive preserve of the rich,” the governor stated.

Fashola went on to list the future targets of the government on LPG to include the introduction of LPG into TAXIs and Government vehicles in the state, introducing of LPG into public transport buses and staff buses; having 25 per cent of private cars, buses use LPG and to create jobs through various LPG distribution channels particularly in the small business enterprises sector of the economy.

He said as a nation, Nigeria faces the paradox of having an abundance of natural resources such as Oil and Gas and yet comparatively marginal economic growth and development and that one of the quick gains that the citizenry can enjoy is in the use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) as the preferred choice of cooking.

Fashola noted that the LPG is not new in Nigeria as its use has been popularised by private sector operators in the oil and gas sector like SUNGAS and NIDOGAS, adding that the flag off is symbolic.

Earlier in his welcome address, Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofik Tijani, an engineer, said the road to the LPG launch started when the governor set up a committee of the State Executive Council with the Deputy Governor chairing it.

He explained that that the committee worked hard and presented their recommendation to the Executive Council to the effect that the state government should intervene and should be able to provide some subsidy and also carry out campaigns and advocacy so that the average resident will all know the benefit of cooking gas to their health and to the environment.

President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Goodie Ibru, appreciated the collaborative efforts of the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the sensitisation of the public in the use of LPG in households and farms.

Prominent among those who attended the launch were members of the State Executive Council, former Minister of Industry,Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, representatives of the participating gas companies and political leaders from Surulere.

 

 

1 COMMENT

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