The Federal Government says it had no immediate plan to ban the importation of gas cylinders as part of its LPG expansion and implementation plan.
Dayo Adesina, Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Gas in the office of the Vice-President, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the government was working on first building local capacities before contemplating a ban.
According to Adesina, who is also the Programme Manager of the National LPG Expansion and Implementation, Nigeria still has a lot of cylinder deficits to fill in meeting the LPG expansion plan.
He explained that the plan was to get LPG to the remotest of villages and discourage use of firewood and other fuels that are inimical to the environment.
Adesina said that of the nation’s over 200 million population, there were only about two million gas cylinders, which he said, was poor compared to other countries.
He pointed out that Brazil, with a population similar to Nigeria, has a cylinder population of 150 million and an additional five million injected annually.
He said that for India, the cylinder population was over 100 million while Mexico had a cylinder population of almost 100 million.
“But Nigeria, with over 200 million people has less than two million cylinders. So, if you had 20 cylinder manufacturing plants it still won’t be enough.
“We have a new one that opened in 2019, two that are shut down and three that have sought approval for manufacturing. You cannot ban what you don’t have.
“Banning importation is not going to solve the problem. It is going to worsen the problem.”
He said that the government needed to move quickly to inject cylinders nationwide if it must keep its commitment to reducing emission.
Adesina, however, stressed that banning importation now would not be a solution but that Nigeria should rather build local capacity gradually until the nation can become self-sufficient in cylinder production.
“What the government is doing is simple: take a mixture of local and foreign production.
“The ones that are to be imported, the manufacturer can supply the first set, the second set must be manufactured locally in Nigeria.
“If they are not ready to set up here we pair them up with local investors and technical partners,” he said.