By Mada S Ibrahim
The Petroleum Equalisation Fund, PEF, says it would in the nearest future venture in to the gas sector by providing subsidy for marketers in order to make sure that cooking gas gets to all parts of the country at an affordable price.
Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, the Executive Secretary of PEF made this revelation during a media chat on Sunday in Abuja .
During the media parley, Bobboi added that PEF is determined to eradicate the health hazards associated with deforestation and to completely eradicate deforestation by making sure that cooking gas is made available to every household in the country.
He further stressed that the PEF’s involvement in the Gas sector is in line with the Federal Government interest in that sector adding that equalizing gas would also add value to the economy.
“We are trying to introduce the same scheme to gas because government wants to develop gas, and for over 45 years it has been working effectively, though not without challenges, for petroleum”.
Bobbo speaking on the benefits of cooking gas, explained that that if the price of cooking gas is stablized and the products are made available to most Nigerians, it would reduce inflation and make the economy of the very viable.
“If you are able to control the price of essential commodities, you will be able to control the prices of many other things in the economy.
“So we believe that it will add value to the economy along the value chain in so many ways, and it will help in getting the consumers in most areas to accept usage of gas and abandon the use of firewood for cooking, with its attendant problems and the challenges, especially the health hazards associated with that, as well as deforestation,” he said.
The Executive Secretary further explained that PEF would encourage the marketers of by subsidizing the transportation cost of marketers so that gas is readily and easily affordable to consumers in view of the huge reserves of gas deposits.
“We need to use it to also make it affordable to the people, because if you can incentivize the marketer, by paying for his transportation to take it to the last mile, he will bring down his price for it to be affordable and accessible to the consumer. That will do a lot of good for the economy
Nonetheless,he added that PEF is waiting for approval from the executive arm of the government and the legislative framework before it would commence work on the gas sector
“We have not started equalising for gas yet because government is still advocating for the acceptability of the use of gas. The decade of gas has been declared and many things are being put in place to have a workable framework.
“The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is still in the national assembly which is considering most of the issues and whatever comes out from that deliberation will be the guiding point for all of us because we want to know the fate of PEF itself and then look at the mandate of the new or additional mandate.
“Once we have the legal and legislative backing, then we will come with a clear framework