Techno Oil is currently making waves in the LPG market in Nigeria. This integrated oil and gas company is building Nigeria’s only LGP cylinder manufacturing plant. Made-in-Nigeria cylinders will revolutionalize the LPG market by making them more accessible and affordable. This trendsetting company is our partner of the month.
Executive Vice Chairman of Techno Oil Limited, Mrs Nkechi Obi sheds light on the plans of the company.
What is the long-term vision of your LPG business?
The plan is to get the LPG adoption level in Nigeria to be far above any other Africa country because Nigeria has the highest natural gas reserve in Africa but has the lowest LPG per-capita usage. This is in comparison to Ghana’s 3.0kg, South Africa at 5.5kg or Morocco at 44kg.
By not fully harnessing the usage of its gas resources, Nigeria loses estimated 18.2 million dollars daily.
Why is this the right time for Nigeria to switch to LPG use?
Currently, deforestation has continued to be a serious challenge in our drive for a balanced eco system. The depletion of our forest reserve has also continued to be a major reason for the increasing case of desert encroachment in the north.
If you were asked to advise the new government in Nigeria on policy options, what are the three most important things the government can do to expand the market?
Well, our current challenges include inadequate public awareness on safety, limited distributive outlets such as refilling plants and high cost of cylinders etc.Our humble submission is for government to handle the issue of awareness and provide an enabling environment, financial and infrastructural incentives. While the private sector will undertake the other projects, such as Techno Oil is doing today, we submit that government should do a one-off subsidy intervention by subsidizing cylinders to households.
Government should use the National Orientation Agency to propagate the campaign to switch from firewood/kerosene to cooking gas. This will reduce the phobia and improve public awareness that cooking gas is clean, safe and affordable.
Our desire is for government to provide incentives for inventors to build refilling plants and terminals and DPR to incorporate cooking gas plants in all mega stations within reach of communities so that people can refill their cylinders with ease and at an affordable cost.We also commend government for the CBN SME facility.
If an enabling environment is not created by government, what future risks to do you envisage?
If no action is taken, it would further increase the already prevalent health hazards our women face, increased deforestation as a result of sourcing firewood and depletion of our foreign reserve.
In your view, how do you think the supply of LPG across the country can be strengthened?
In terms of supply, we reckon availability in multiple chains of refill plants, efficient LPG trucks to handle distribution, as well as more LPG terminals compared to what we currently have.
You recently launched a mega plant to produce LPG cylinders, what motivated you to do so?
The initiative is directed at saving the high cost expended every year by Nigerians to import LPG cylinders of questionable quality from India, China, Turkey and other Asian countries. This will also support our advocacy in the past five years for the switch to using cooking gas instead of firewood/kerosene.
What are your thoughts on how to expand access to the use of LPG for low income households?
The creation of LPG Parlors (service centers) and plants in communities to enable our women easily get their cylinders refilled or swapped should be considered.
Job creation and the empowerment of women seem to be increasingly important. How can your company help drive employment generation and the empowerment of women?
The plant would indirectly & directly create over 1000 jobs through the establishment of service centers, distribution trucks, LPG parlors, dealers/distributors etc.
Finally, the Techno Oil LPG Cylinder Manufacturing Plant when fully operational would also offer value added services to the cooking gas users through integrated cylinder integrity testing facility. This would be a relief because most cylinder users do not have access to the facility that helps to test the integrity of their cylinders.