Except urgent steps are taken, Nigerians may soon witness another scarcity of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), popularly called cooking gas, as some off-takers alleged being denied access to the product by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
The development, according to them, may equally lead to thousands of direct and indirect job losses in the LPG sector, thereby causing a setback to the Federal Government efforts to deepen LPG penetration.
Some of the off-takers, who spoke to Daily Sun in separate interviews, alleged that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited was marginalising some LPG terminals from having access to the product.
They alleged that NLNG had deliberately restricted supply of cooking gas to the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC) jetty in Lagos and NIPCO in the last two years.
According to them, NIPCO receives the bulk share at an average of 8,000 metric tonnes while other terminal including NAVGAS was denied access to LPG.
The off-takers said that NAVGAS, the operator of the terminal, had requested for supply on several occasions but got no satisfactory reason from NLNG on why it could not deliver LPG to their terminal.
The off-takers alleged that NAVGAS terminal only received product thrice in the year while PPMC/NIPCO terminal had received over 12 deliveries.
But, when contacted, Head, Media Relations, NLNG, Mrs.Anne-Marie Palmer-Ikuku, denied the allegation by the off-takers, saying the company had been supporting the domestic LPG (DLPG) market since 2007.
Mrs Palmer-Ikuku said, from the beginning, Nigeria LNG involvement in the local LPG market had promoted market competition while encouraging all terminals to provide Third Party Access (TPA) to all credible buyers.
According to her, the principle has guided NLNG’s engagement with terminal owners and buyers.
“Today, the significant majority of NLNG off-takers take their volumes through the PPMC jetties, which have provided TPA to all interested buyers, and are preferred because they are cheaper.
NLNG, as a reasonable and prudent operator, honours all its contracts and does not discriminate against any buyer. All Annual Contract Quantity (ACQ) commitments have been met for all buyers without exceptions.
No buyer has been denied volumes that were committed to them during the contract year.
Algasco, for instance, has taken 23,643.39mt out of its ACQ of 26,000MT for this contract year. This is 90 per cent of its volumes with more than two months to the end of the contract year.”
The manager said NLNG would continue to work with the government, buyers and other industry players to ensure a level playing field for all buyers.
This, Palmer-Ikuku said, would help in boosting the growth recorded in the oil and gas sector of the economy.