Access Bank chief says Techno Oil LPG Plant big dream
The Executive Director of Access Bank Plc., Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, has described the LPG plant being built by Techno Oil as a big dream that could set Nigeria on course for growth.
Ogbonna made the statement on Wednesday in Lagos at a Town Hall Meeting on LPG Adoption, organised by Techno Oil Ltd.
He said that Access Bank would remain partners in progress with companies embarking on projects that would help Nigeria to turn the corner in its quest for self-reliance.
“I think there is no gainsaying the fact that Techno Oil is a successful brand. So we are happy to be associated with the company.
“As a bank, we are fully in support not only of the LPG project but the vision, initiative and drive that the promoters of Techno Oil have for the company and the Nigerian economy.
Ogbonna said that Access Bank had built fruitful and lasting relationship with Techno Oil, praising the company for investing in a sector that would have direct impact on growth.
He praised the company for building the plant, expected to offer no fewer than 1,000 jobs to Nigerians.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of Techno Oil, Mrs Nkechi Obi, said the plant was being constructed in partnership with a foreign firm that had built similar plants in over 15 African and Asian countries.
Obi said her company embarked on the project as part of its contribution to the drive by the Federal Government to deepen LPG consumption in Nigeria.
She re-stated that although the use of cooking gas had increased by about 36.8 per cent in Nigeria in the past three years, over 80 per cent of households still relied on kerosene, firewood and other energy sources.
According to her, Nigeria has a population of over 170 million people, yet the country has less than one million cooking gas cylinders in circulation.
“The huge capital expended annually on the importation of LPG cylinders is a monumental loss to this country.
“With the completion of this project, Nigeria will curb its huge capital flight and save about five billion naira spent annually to import cylinders.
She expressed optimism that the plant would assist in checking capital flight and end the huge kerosene subsidy, estimated at over N150 billion being expended by government annually.
The industrialist lamented that Nigeria still ranked lowest in sub-Saharan Africa in per capita usage of LPG, consuming 1.1kg compared with Ghana at 3.0kg; South Africa, 5.5kg and Morocco 44kg per capita.
She argued that making more Nigerians to embrace cooking gas instead of using firewood would help in the drive to sustain the environment and preserve the fragile Eco-system.
Obi listed some challenges that had been making it difficult for more Nigerians to embrace LPG as inadequate public awareness on safety, limited distributive outlets and high cost of cylinders.
“The private sector cannot do it alone. Our humble submission is for government to handle the issue of awareness and provide the enabling environment and infrastructure.
The LPG plant, which is located at Ajah, near Lagos is expected to roll out about five million cylinders annually beginning from November this year.