Matrix Energy Limited during the weekend, revealed that 66% domestic and industrial energy consumers in Nigeria still relying on firewood.
Matrix said this practice has steadily worsen deforestation and attendant negative climate change in this part of the world.
The company’s Chief Marketing Manager, Mrs. Toyin Sowumi and its Terminal Manager, Engr. Raphael Biu, made this revelation at a ‘Meet Your Customers Forum’, held in Warri, Delta State.
They said Matrix investment in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Nigeria, is part of its social responsibility targeted at ultimately raising awareness of energy consumers to cleaner and cheaper energy and to minimize effect of global warming.
They disclosed that beside assisting the federal government to take more Nigerians away from dirty and dangerous energies sources, the company is also targeting helping Nigeria to beat down the greenhouse gas emission.
To achieve the target of taking the LPG consumption rate in Nigeria from about 600 metric tons per annum to around 2 million by the year 2025, the company said it currently supplies 30% of LPG distribution across Nigeria with an intent for an increase.
They added that Matrix has deployed 65 LPG trucks to deliver to its customers in different parts of the country and planning to procure more for easy distribution of product.
“We called the forum, among other things, to encourage those who are into the LPG business and support them as much as possible. Also, we are trying to support the climate change campaign, to ensure that the effect of the greenhouse emission is reduced.
“You know that LPG is a cleaner source of energy, we want people to be aware of its benefits; it is cleaner and cheaper and from the records of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, we now know that 66% of Nigerian population still uses firewood, which means deforestation, all these increase the greenhouse emission.
“We want to make sure that while meeting our present needs, we don’t jeopardize the livelihood of future generations, a way to do that is to promote and encourage the use of LPG. Currently, the consumption rate of LPG in Nigeria is about 600 metric tons per annum and the per capita for Nigeria is about 2KG, which is still very small, compared to other African countries; Ghana is 4.3 while Sierra Leone is about 9KG per capita.
“The federal government projects that by 2025 the Nigerian per capita moves to 18.8% per capita, however, if people are not informed about the benefits; like the safety and availability aspects, then the target can’t be met. That’s why we called this forum.
“Before now, you could only load the product from Lagos, which takes more time and more money from Lagos, but with the coming of our facilities to Warri, we have brought LPG availability and ease of distribution to the whole of the South-East, South-West.
“We brought it to Warri not because our Board of Directors couldn’t have easily gone to plant this investment in Lagos because it is cheaper to invest in Lagos; if look at our landing cost, it’s higher here than in Lagos, but the company brought it here because it’s purpose is to impact on the lives of Nigerians, make life easier and ensure that this issue of climate change is tackled.
“In the last one year, we have increased the availability of the product within the region and the ease of getting it. Like I said, the target is to take the average consumption in Nigerian from 600 metric tons per annum to over 2 million metric tons by 2025,” the company said.
Also speaking to journalists at the end of the event, the President of the Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers NALGAM, Ogieva Nosakhare Okunbo, charged the federal government to make the job of making the product popular easier for LPG terminal operators like Matrix Energy Limited by removing the Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally sourced LPG, just as it is with exported product.
He also charged government to devote the subsidy on the importation of kerosene to producing more cylinders, noting that if government commits to injecting 5 million cylinders annually into the system for 5 years, gas would soon become the most commonly used source of energy in Nigeria.
“Another way forward is for the federal government to redirect the subsidy currently dedicated to kerosene now to the production of cylinders. If we inject 5 million cylinders each year for five years to the system, gas will become the most commonly used source of energy; for cooking, power automobile, power some other things. Statistics show that nothing less than 5,500 persons die daily, globally, from the use of solid fuel. That is indoor pollution from the use of dirty fuel for cooking. Google it”, Okunbo said.
Francis Sadhere, Warri