Executive Secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau wants Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) experts to look beyond the business and technical issues involved in the production of LPG for household use to proffering solutions to the political and social challenges which create energy crisis that threatens the socio-economic well-being of Nigerians.
The Executive Secretary, who was speaking at the opening of the 8th Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) Annual conference and exhibition at the PTDF Tower in Abuja, attributed the series of conflicts that occur across the country to the struggle for household energy sources.
He pointed out that, there are strong and strategic national imperatives regarding the LPG initiative beyond economic issues which should be given adequate priority. An example, he said, is firewood which is becoming very scarce and expensive as an energy source and therefore the cause of conflicts.
“I will tell you one thing; virtually in the whole of the North East and the North West, the forest resources have been exhausted and partly because there is no other alternative fuel for households. Just take a trip from Abuja to Kano, if you pay attention, a large number of the trucks moving on the road are carrying firewood. Most of the farmers/herders’ clashes are largely attributed to the fact that there is a big struggle for forest resources”.
He said, until the LPG initiative addresses the dearth of alternative energy sources for our households, there is no way the ongoing conflicts going on across this country can be averted.
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr Emmanual Ibe Kachikwu commended the NLPGA for supporting energy growth in Nigeria through regulatory compliance and private sector investments. He advised the association to embrace a synergistic approach to addressing the impediments to safety, standardization and technology which he described as pre- cursors to the growth and sustainability of the sector.
The Minister of state, Petroleum Resources whose address was delivered by his Special Assistant, (Downstream), Ms Brenda Akaga tasked the conference to brainstorm and find solutions to problems that constituted bottlenecks to the growth of the sector.
In a welcome address, the President of the NLPG Association Mr Nuhu Yakubu thanked PTDF for hosting the conference and for other collaborative support. The Conference he said, would touch on policy initiatives aimed at supporting LPG sector growth. It will in addition generate diverse ideas from experts within and outside the country. “It is an annual event which is aimed at bringing together all key stakeholders, government at all levels, regulatory bodies and institutions of government to deliberate on the continuous development and growth of LPG in Nigeria”. he said.
Kalu Otisi Esq
Head, Press and External Relations