Some roadside sellers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) popularly known as cooking gas in Abuja, on Friday said they were unaware of the government planned clamp down on their business.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited some of the outskirts of the territory observed that most sellers were yet to be informed of what government had planned to ensure penetration of LPG in the country.
Some of the areas visited by NAN were Gwarinpa Estate, Dutse Alhaji, Dawaki, Kubwa and Ushafa in the FCT.
NAN recalls that the federal government had on May 24 said it would inject 600,000 gas cylinders as part of effort to ensure LPG penetration in the country.
Ms Brenda Ataga, the special Adviser to the former Minister of State for petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Gas, said that the cylinders would be distributed to all recognised micro distribution centres in the country.
She said that government would commence awareness campaign to help sensitise people to the right procedures especially roadside or illegal gas sellers.
She said that after awareness, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) would commence clamping down on illegal or road side sellers.
“Actually, enforcement will start next week, we will start notifying people from today (May 24); there will be jingles in the media, so that people will understand what we are talking about,’’she said
But Mr Emmanuel Samuel who sells Gas in Ushafa told NAN that he had not heard the jingles on TV or radio.
“I listen to radio always, I have not heard any jingle on this issue you are telling me now.
“In fact, this is the first time I am hearing it. May be, if I understand what government is doing, I will comply, nobody has come to sensitise me,’’ he said.
Another seller, at Dutse Alhaji zone1, said “I heard in the news that government wants to buy gas cylinder for Nigerians.
“This is a good idea but, I don’t know how they will retrieve the various cylinders in many homes.
“I did not know that they said they will close our business soon; this will be unfair if they do so without properly informing us on what to do.
“This a business I have been doing for over 10 years; if anything happens to it now the whole of my family will be affected because I am the bread winner,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Joshua Alharie, in First Avenue Gwarinpa Estate told NAN that he was ready to do anything to keep his business.
“I have not heard any jingle but I have been informed by some of my customers that government is working hard to ensure that everybody starts using gas to cook.
“In my mind, I am very happy because it means that my business will grow but if they want to stop us from selling to the people on the street they will definitely inform us on how to adjust to fit in,’’ he said.
Alharie further noted that he was ready to do whatever government said to ensure his business was not closed at any point.
Another seller in 2-1 Kubwa, Mr Uzo Agbo, said that the idea of making cooking gas available and affordable to all was good but it should not affect the dealers’ business.
“I have not heard the jingles but I have read it on the newspaper, I will comply with the law,” he said
The Spokesman of the Department of Petroleum Resources in Abuja, Mr Saidu Mohammed, confirmed to NAN that jingles and awareness were ongoing.
NAN reports that road sellers are expected to convert to micro distribution centres to be allowed to operate.
Also, the planned clamp down by DPR will be done area by area where convertion of Skids had be done and where illegal sellers had been warned.(NAN)