KIAKIAGAS LIMITED is the Partner of the Month of November! In this interview, Ifeanyi Emmanuel Uwandu shares their activities in the clean cookstoves sector.
Give us a brief introduction to your organisation. What are the objectives of your organisation?
Kiakiagas is an energy provider currently engaged in LPG retailing, bulk supply and clean energy emerging market development. Kiakiagas started as Nigeria’s first online energy outfit offering quick & safe delivery of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and its related products to Nigerian homes and industries.
What does your organisation seek to achieve in Nigeria’s cooking energy market?
Kiakiagas foresees LPG taking over wood/kerosene as the primary source of cooking energy in Nigerian and has rolled out its flagship LPG business (Gaspreneur Scheme) laying the foundations for a national conversion scheme from traditional forms of cooking energy as outlined in the National Gas Policy.
What are the opportunities in the business environment that have supported your organisation’s involvement in the clean cookstove sector over the years?
The overall goal of the National policy on LPG signed in 2017 by the Federal Government is to promote its wider use towards the attainment of Five Million (5,000,000) MT utilisation in 5 years.
This solidifies the Federal Government’s commitment to stimulating consumption; enabling KiaKia Gas and her GASPRENEUR SCHEME as a viable player in the LPG value chain as we create profitable LPG businesses to partake in the emerging clean energy sector and bridge the distribution gap between the suppliers and the end users.
How are your customers reacting to your products in the market – benefits of using your product?
Our solution has been well received by the end users, it solves the challenge of convenience as they can now sit in the comfort of their homes and order for gas and it is delivered to their homes within a 45mins ETA at the same price you’d pay for buying from a retail store. Also, retailers and new entrants (Gaspreneurs) now have an all in one solution for booking, payment and delivery of LPG to their facilities within 24hours which is more efficient than the existing week-long booking and delivery process.
Job creation and the empowerment of women seem to be increasingly important. How has your organization helped to drive employment generation and the empowerment of women?
Women empowerment is at the core of what we do at KiaKiagas. Our Mothers and sisters are the very reason we keep pushing to see that clean energy is embraced as they are our primary customer.
The Gaspreneur scheme has played a huge role in Job and employment creation opportunities for young people in Nigeria. So far the scheme has created 14 independent business owners in the LPG space across the country with a target of 2000 businesses within the next 5 years.
Our KiakiaGaspreneur Lab is a training platform where intending entrepreneurs and employable youths are trained and equipped with the requisite knowledge needed to participate in the fast-growing domestic LPG industry.
If you are asked to advise the Federal Government of Nigeria on policy options, what are the three most important things the government can do to expand the market?
The Government has done well in terms of policy direction but there is still a lot to improve on:
- The turn-around time in getting DPR license and certification to set up a cooking gas plant has to be reviewed and debugged; this will go a long way to encourage local and international investment in this sector.
- VAT is levied on domestic production of LPG cylinders but not on imported cylinders (there were once two domestic cylinder manufacturers but these have both since folded up due to the financial challenges). We believe in the reform process going on now and are working closely with Government to see that this policy is addressed to encourage local production of LPG cylinders.
- LPG is the only fuel that is not only fully deregulated but is also taxed (VAT is applied to domestic LPG but not to imported LPG), putting domestic gas production at a disadvantage to LPG imports). The government needs to ensure that all petroleum products are treated in a fiscally equivalent manner, such that one product is not financially dis-incentivised over another.
If an enabling environment is not created by government, what future risks do you envisage?
If the issue of tax on domestically produced cylinders is not sorted out as soon as possible, it will discourage investment in the local production of cylinders. The turn-around time in getting LPG operating licenses serves as a deterrent for investors and entrepreneurs to come in and participate in the LPG industry
Where do you envisage your organization to be in the next 5 years in terms of production?
We are leading efforts to change the way energy is consumed in Nigeria with other leading stakeholders; our focus in the next 60 Months is to develop the capacity to produce LPG domestically also production of LPG cylinders, and its related components towards the attainment of 5million tonnes of domestic LPG consumption
What risk does your business face and what is your biggest challenge?
As reported by our Gaspreneurs and willing entrepreneurs who want to set up a cooking gas plant especially the mini plants, there is no regulation currently guiding the setting up of mini plants in the country on a quarter or half plot of land except you are setting up in a petrol filling station. The requisite land for a 20tons plant is 2plots of land (100X100 or 120X120), now to set up a mini plant of 2.5tons or 5tons does not have a specific land size to set up this facility; the authorities still insist on a 2 plots of land for a mini plant which is an investment challenge for teeming low scale entrepreneurs to partake in the industry
What are your suggestions for moving the cooking energy market forward in Nigeria?
The world has moved in the direction of renewables, the private sector will need to engage with the Governments to create an enabling environment to steer resources mobilized for large-scale investments into new production sectors and new technologies with a focus on research and development before scaling the market.
Is there any other thing you would like to share?
KiaKiagas is positioning herself to lead the energy transition of Nigeria and by extension Nigeria by using gas to bridge the energy access gap between traditional forms of energy to decentralized new renewable forms of energy for domestic usage, transportation, industrial applications and power generation to reach last mile end users in off-grid rural areas.