The association maintained that such acts remained a huge threat to lives and property, and was capable of causing colossal fire accidents if not checked.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Monday, the National President, NALPGAM, Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, said the unwholesome practice started when some operators approach the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for the permission to run auto-gas plants, which will encourage more motorists to power their vehicles using gas, as against petrol or diesel.
He said the idea that would have deepen LPG usage in Nigeria failed as the operators started using the facility to fill LPG cylinders for domestic uses as against attending to vehicles.
“Though our association canvasses LPG penetration, we cannot continue to keep quiet while lives and property are endangered via this practice where LPG, petrol and diesel, which are highly inflammable materials are traded side-by-side. If gas escapes and gets to any naked fire, the destruction, no doubt, is going to be so huge,” he said.
According to Ogieva-Okunbor, most of the filling stations currently running LPG skids alongside other petroleum products got approvals for filling stations only; and decided to add LPG skids on their own without necessary approvals. The NALPGAM boss stressed: “These gas skids were not in the initial design of the stations. There are rules and regulations guiding the siting of such.”
He said safety, to a large extent, was compromised I most of the filling stations also running LPG skids as vehicles could be seen moving around the stations even when LPG is being discharged.“The front of fillings stations are not fenced, and this is a serious security risk. If a fire incident happens as a result of an explosion, the fire can travel very far from the filling station, and a whole street can be razed as a result of this,” Ogieva-Okunbor said.
He urged DPR to discontinue the issuance of licences to operators wanting to run gas skids at filling stations and dismantle existing facilities that compromise safety.
NALPGAM commended Ogun and Ekiti States for not allowing such unwholesome practice while urging other states to follow suit.
Also commenting, the Executive Secretary, NALPGAM, Bassey Essien, said the association was canvassing for ‘stand-alone’ skids all over the country. He also commended Delta State for making the right move to encourage safety via ‘stand-alone’ LPG skids.