The Federal Government on Thursday announced that it was creating micro-distribution centres where users of cooking gas would access the commodity at affordable rates and rent cylinders.
It also disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other oil marketers would start installing Compressed Natural Gas pumps at filling stations in order to make Nigerians shift from the use of petrol to the CNG in automobiles.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who disclosed these in Abuja, also declared that the downstream oil sector had been deregulated.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, also disclosed that the COVID-19 pandemic had stalled the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
Sylva said government was trying to direct Nigerians from the use of kerosene to cooking gas, which was why it had started rolling out measures to achieve this target.
He said, “Today the reason why people cannot really use gas or why the penetration is low is because the initial capital outlay in using gas is quite high to the ordinary man.
“So what we are doing is to try and see how people can have access without necessarily investing all that money upfront.”
He added, “With this we believe that gas will now begin to compete with other cooking fuels, because today the advantage that kerosene has over gas is that if you don’t have the money to buy a litre of kerosene, you can buy a bottle or half a bottle.
“But when we roll out this programme, gas will become more affordable and we believe that a lot more people will use gas.”
He further noted that in the LPG policy of government, the plan was to set up 32,000 micro distribution centres cooking gas across the country, which would see the engagement of 5,000 workers.
Sylva said the government was seriously pushing for the use of the CNG in cars instead of the continued use of petrol.