Economy: Nigerians power generators with cooking gas

The inventive spirit of Nigerians has continued to cushion the effect of continuous increase in prices of goods and services.

Nigerians are known to be tough and adapt to changes easily, due to their ability to adopt or create other alternatives. 

The removal of fuel subsidy, which has resulted in over 100 per cent increase in the cost of fuel per litre, has now put the inventive spirit of Nigerians to test.

Economy & Lifestyle discovered that within a few weeks of this development, Nigerians have resorted to powering their generators, using cooking gas.

The cooking gas is connected to the governor chamber of the generator set, and the rest is a cheaper way of generating power, rather than high fuel consumption that puts hole in the pocket. 

For Mr. Gbolahan Kazeem, a barber, said he used to spend N2,000 to buy 10 litres of fuel, which serves him for two to three days, depending on customers patronage.

“In this area, we have two days on and one day off power sharing method. Sometimes, the power holding company hardly supply electricity for those days we are on.

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” So, I cut customers hairs, using power generator. I buy fuel of 10 litres with N2,000, which serves me for a day or two, depending on the number of patronage.

“With the removal of subsidy I can hardly meet up with expenses for the shop and the home.

That N2,000 now purchases only three  litres of fuel, which hardly serves me for a day.

“Recently, I visited a friend who owns a provision store, and discovered he was powering his generator with cooking gas. 

“He told me that it lasts longer than fuel.

“I asked him to help me with mine. Now I have been using 6kg of cooking gas cylinder, which costs N3,500, to power my generator, since last week, which lasts for two days before it comes to our turn to have electricity.”

Mrs. Monsurat Sholanke, a boutique owner, complained about the loss she had , as a result of the increased cost of fuel.

“This is not a joking matter. You know we owners of boutique use electricity to bring out the beauty of our wears, especially in the evenings. 

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“If you visit Lagos Island, most of those traders uses electricity from generator set 24/7. 

“Before subsidy was removed, I spend N2,000 to N3,000 to power my generator set two days. But now I spend over N5,000. 

“This has resulted to loss for me because most of my profit goes into the fuel money. I have not talked about the rent.

“I heard people now use gas to power generator. I have decided to give it a trial to see how it will help me save costs.”

Mr. Jude Okechukwu, a business man, explained that this invention may cripple fuel businesses and increase consumption of cooking gas.

“It is a good development. However it may cripple the fuel business which has already been receiving low patronage and less consumption due to the increased price per litre.

“Nigerians are resilient in times of hardship and this development does not come as a shock to me.

“Soon, no one will require fuel to power anything the way the world is advancing in technology.

“However, this invention will increase demand for cooking and possibly fire hazards if caution is not applied when using gas which is flammable as fuel.”

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Mr. Chizoba Mbisike, a generator repairer at Egbeda, explained that all needed for conversion of fuel based generator set to gas based is the carburetor.

“The carburetor  of a fuel based generator set is different from that of a gas based. 

“When converting a generator that uses fuel to gas, you need an original gas carburetor which replaces the fuel one.

“It is sold for N18,000 to N25,000. 

“The fuel tank is now useless. A very long hose is connected to the carburetor and the gas cylinder which is put inside a very big bowl of water for cooling.

“The 12.5 kg gas lasts for 36 hours in a 30000 generator model and 24 hours in an 80000 generator model.”

Economy&Lifestyle survey revealed that the price of a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas has dropped to N7,000 from N10,000 as a result to lower crude oil prices and a decline in global gas prices.

This development has made it very possible for increased adoption of the cooking gas generator set.


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