To reduce the prevalence of kerosene explosions across the country and remove the pressure causing scarcity and sharp practices in the distribution of the product; Nigerians have been advised to embrace the use of the cooking gas.
Chief Executive Officer of Matrix Energy Limited, Abdukabir Adisa Aliu, who gave the advice during a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), in Warri, also noted that the rest of the world had left Nigeria behind in the race to cleaner energy.
Aliu, who informed the committee that the difficulty in getting adequate supply of kerosene for its teeming consumers across the country was primarily as a result of the fact that it is an export product, despite the country being and oil producer, noted that it is time for Nigeria to diversify from kerosene to gas for domestic uses.
The 5-man House Committee, led by Honourable Joseph Akinlaja, said it was out to find out the causes of high cost and scarcity of kerosene in the country, as well as get to know why cases of kerosene explosion had become common across the country.
However, explaining the character of the kerosene market to the legislators, Aliu said Nigeria needs to adopt the liquefied natural gas (LPG), which he said is cheaper and safer, for domestic use, adding that this would take the pressure off kerosene and make the quantity refined by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) adequate for other uses.
“The main reason why kerosene price cannot be determined, why we can’t have a fixed price except there’s subsidy, is that for a very long time now the country has depended on importation of kerosene and we all know that the pricing of kerosene is determined under Jet J1, which is the same thing for aviation fuel, any time the crude oil price goes up.
“A country like Nigeria should rely on importation of kerosene. A country like Nigeria, with a population of minimum 120 million, should not be using kerosene. There are maybe about 3 or 4 countries in the entire world that still rely on kerosene; I know of Nigeria, I know of India, I can’t remember any other country that uses kerosene as means of cooking.
“We are part of the people that have been advocating for gas. We have gas everywhere; the entire of Delta state, Edo state have more of gas than oil reserve. Most of the marginal fields in all these locations are producing gas and many wells here are being cut because they are producing propane, which is what we use in cooking anywhere in the world.
“So for us, the alternative to bring down the reliability on kerosene is for the entire country to diversify to the use of gas, which is what led us to building another facility, which we call Matrix Gas.
“Nigeria, today, is exporting propane and peptane; Bonny LNG and NGL project under Mobil are doing that, exporting Nigerian gas. Nigeria produces the highest volume of gas in Africa; it’s after Nigeria that you’ll be talking of Gabon. So for us, the less people use kerosene, there’ll be less pressure on the product and whatever quantity of kerosene the NNPC produces, government can decide to do whatever they want to do with it,” he said.
The House committee, speaking to journalists after the meeting and the inspection of the company’s facilities, said it would take recommendations offered by the company to the lower chambers for consideration.