Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has been advised to stop approving locating of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants in fuel stations.
The President of Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) Mr Nosakhare Ogieva-Okunbor, told newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos that installing `ad-on skid gas plant’ in fuel stations was dangerous
He urged DPR to discontinue the approval of selling or locating a gas plant in fuel stations, saying, both LPG, known as cooking gas, and fuel were highly inflammable which needed to be on separate entities, adding that LPG cylinders were potentially and highly hazardous.
The NALPGAM boss expressed worry over the increasing number of filling stations engaged in selling of gas within the stations not minding the hazardous implications.
Ogieva-Okunbor said that the proliferation of fuel and gas-filling stations across the country had raised safety concerns, considering the less than satisfactory compliance with minimum environmental safety requirements for the operations of those facilities.
He said that there is nowhere in the DPR guidelines and regulations that stipulated operating gas plant within fuel stations.
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 on-set.
”As 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 have cited plants close to eateries’ kitchen within their stations and this is dangerous while they are discharging gas and selling fuel.
“We, the association, cannot open our eyes and watch for something drastic to happen before we raise alarm,” he said.
Ogieva-Okunbor, however, called on both the Federal and State Governments to live up to their responsibilities by checkmating the fuel stations.
He also said government should commence immediate demolition of such illegal gas plants within such stations.
”The earlier government and officials act fast, the better for Nigerians.
“I also use this opportunity to thank the governments of Ogun and Ekiti for stopping such act and sanitising the industry in their respective states.
“The states do not allow gas plant in filling station, I also urge other states to follow suit in banning gas in fuel stations.
”Plant operators must be conversant with all safety needs of LPG plant operations.
“Gas plant should stand alone without attaching to filing station,” Ogieva-Okunbor said.
He advised the agency to embark on an operational facility audit of unlicensed gas plants within filling stations to ensure strict compliance to statutory guidelines and standards.
The president of cooking gas marketers said that most stations were trying to undermine government’s free hands to promote and deepen cooking gas utilisation.
”But we under NALPGAM will not allow those who neglect the guidelines and principle to spoil the market,” he said.
He said that 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.
He said that cooking gas remained cleaner and cheaper and therefore should be the preferred option for fuel users and urged government to fast track its plans to make millions of homes use cooking gas within two years.
According to him, there is hardly any doubt that the socio-economic benefits of switching from kerosene, firewood and charcoal to Liquefied Petroleum Gas, commonly known as cooking gas, are innumerable.