A policy aimed at removing the ownership of Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders from consumers is presently being worked upon by the Federal Government.
This, it made known yesterday at a stakeholders’ forum on LPG penetration in Abuja.
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, while speaking said once the policy is finalized, ownership of gas cylinders would be solely by distributors and dealers.
He explained that it was a strategic move to deepen the penetration of LPG, also known as cooking gas, and address issues of safety.
According to Kachikwu, an agreement has been reached between the Federal Government and two original cylinder manufacturers to deliver 600,000 cylinders to LPG distributors on credit, with a pre-payment period of 18 months.
He added that in a couple of days, the Federal Government would clamp down on illegal roadside LPG dealers while advising that all skid operators of LPG to immediately convert their outlets to micro distribution centers before the enforcement begins.
Represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Brenda Ataga, Kachikwu said: “The MDCs will essentially create and introduce into the market what we call the cylinder exchange programme, whereby the cylinders are owned by the distributors.
“There is no need for you to decant for anybody that comes in, and that eliminates illegal risks as well.
“You would fill them at the refill plants that would be tied to you and exchange it with your customers because you know your customers already.
“Your customers pay for only the content, while you own the cylinders and control the management of those cylinders.
“It is for us to be able to, at any point in time, discern and discover cylinders that are bad, cylinders that need recertification and cylinders that need to be removed from circulation.
“We put that onus on distributors going forward, to support the safe and standard method of selling LPG.
“I tell you today that Nigeria is the only country in West Africa that does not practice the re-circulation model.
“Everyone has moved away from this because, again, most of the population cannot afford cylinders.
“So, you have to remove that cost from them.”