The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has raised the alarm over looming gas explosion in filling stations where gas is also sold
Mr. Nosakhare Ogieva-Okunbor, who disclosed this in Lagos, urged Department of Petroleum Resources to turn downapproval of citing of gas plants within station where eateries is being operated.
He said that most stations now cited eateries and gas refilling together where kitchen is being operated which exposed customers to hazard.
Ogieva-Okunbor, said addition of skid gas plant in fuel stations is dangerous, and urged the DPR to discontinue the approval of selling LPG, also called cooking gas, in petrol filling stations where eateries are cited within.
He said both the LPG and the premium motor spirit (petrol) are highly inflammable and needed to be on separate locations as LPG cylinders are highly hazardous.
The NALPGAM Chief expressed worry over the increasing number of filling stations selling cooking gas, not minding the hazardous implications.
Ogieva-Okunbor said the proliferation of fuel and gas-filling stations in the same location across the country has raised safety concerns, considering the less than satisfactory compliance with minimum environmental safety requirements for the operations of those facilities.
According to him, some filling station owners are in the habit of installing ad-on gas machine later in their fuel stations, but which was not in the original building plans at the onset.
“As a matter of urgency, the DPR should commence dismantling of such gas plants in filling stations.
“Most stations have neglected the rules and regulation. They are now locating gas plant in most stations across that states. Today, we see some people installing gas plants close to eateries’ kitchen within their stations and this is dangerous while they are discharging gas and selling fuel.
“We, the NALPGAM members cannot open our eyes and watch for something drastic to happen before we raise alarm,” he said.
Ogieva-Okunbor, however, called on the Federal and state governments to live up to their responsibilities by checkmating the fuel stations who sell gas where eateries were also cited within the premises.
He also said government should commence immediate demolition of such illegal gas plants within such fuel stations and eateries environment.
“The earlier the government and officials act fast, the better for Nigerians.
“Plant operators must be conversant with all safety needs of the LPG plant operations. Gas plant should stand alone without being attached to filing stations or eateries,” Ogieva-Okunbor said.
He advised the DPR to embark on an operational facility audit of unlicensed gas plants within filling stations to ensure strict compliance to statutory guidelines and standards.
He said most stations are trying to bastardise government’s free hands to promote and deepen cooking gas utilisation. “But we under NALPGAM, will not allow those who neglect the guidelines and principles to spoil the market,” he said.
He said Nigeria must move quickly in the direction of greater per capita consumption of gas, noting that many continued to depend on kerosene and firewood for their cooking, despite the attendant negative implications.
Ogieva-Okunbor said cooking gas remained cleaner and cheaper and therefore, should be the preferred option for fuel users and urged the government to fast-track its plans to make millions of homes use cooking gas within two years.