“Nigerians are dying from the high cost of cooking gas”

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

The chairman of DAS Energy Services Limited, Delta State, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has denounced the recent increase in the prices of liquefied natural gas (LNG), also known as cooking gas, noting that it will add to the suffering of the oppressed in the country. .

He also warned that the original goal of national availability and preservation of the forest would be defeated if cooking gas went beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerians due to the current increase in the price of the product.

Onuesoke lamented that the price of filling the 12.5kg cooking gas cylinder, which was between 3,200 and 3,500 N for a very long time, suddenly jumped to 6,500 and 26,000 N respectively, adding that the filling of the camping gas cylinder which was N1 500 is now N2 500.

The leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at a press conference in his office in Warri, Delta State, argued yesterday that the recent price increase for the product was outrageous, given the situation current in the country.

Despite plentiful supplies of LPG and gigantic production plans, Onuesoke, who is also a magnet for oil and gas, expressed dismay that a country so rich in gas could be plagued by the evils of soaring gasoline. price.

He said: “According to an NLNG report, Nigeria is endowed with abundant reserves of associated and non-associated gas, estimated at over 202 trillion standard cubic feet.”

The World Fact book, a benchmark resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), said Nigeria ranks ninth in terms of proven reserves of natural gas in the world after Algeria. It was estimated that the reserve would last more than 100 years.

“However, despite the capacity to produce such an amount of LPG, it only allocates 350,000 metric tonnes to the Nigerian domestic market which requires around 1.2 million per year, while the rest is exported. One wonders why the NLNG cannot fully supply the domestic market with the volume it needs. “

Onuesoke said that while some end-users, especially housewives and low-income people, have no choice but to gradually adjust to the situation, most people in rural areas and the hinterlands are forced to give up their gas cylinders for firewood, charcoal and sawdust despite the inconvenience and health risks associated with their use.

Quoting the World Health Organization (WHO), the politician noted that household air pollution causes non-communicable diseases, including stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. , adding that nearly half of pneumonia deaths in children under five are caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.

According to him, “According to a 2013 WHO report, 98,000 Nigerian women die each year from the use of firewood, and thousands more are at risk of serious health problems. With the recent 70 percent increase in cooking gas prices, this means that the population of deaths from fuelwood use would increase astronomically. “

Onuesoke therefore called for the full domestication of LPG, noting: “This means that the NLNG should give the domestic market the required 1.2 million metric tonnes, and export the rest because it produces 22 million tonnes, instead of export the same. , only for the country to re-import it.

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