House investigates cause of gas cylinders’ explosions at LPG Plants

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The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on gas resources to investigate the causes of gas cylinders’ explosions at Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants.

This the lower chamber said was part of the efforts to find permanent and sustainable solutions which will save lives while encouraging safe use of LPG.

Also, the House called on users of LPG, , to procure and install both active fire extinguishers and gas leakage detectors in their homes as part of safe ways of using same.

The Green Chamber also urged the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Department of Petroleum Resources
(DPR), the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Marketers to embark on aggressive but consistent sensitization and awareness campaigns on safe ways of using gas cylinders to save lives.

The resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion, titled, ‘​Need to Curb the Rising Incidences of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Related Explosions Nationwide,’ sponsored by a member, Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu.

While moving the motion, Kalu recalled various cases of gas explosions which claimed lives across the country and also resulted in the destruction of properties worth millions of naira.

According to him, stakeholders in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) value chain often point at the failure to enforce standards, failure to clamp down on violators and failure to prevent siting of gas stations and refill outlets in residential areas by regulatory bodies, including the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), as being responsible for the rise in cooking gas explosions in the country.

He said that in line with the provisions of Section 14(2) (b) of the Constitution government needs to take more appropriate steps to protect Nigerians from avoidable deaths by adopting relevant practices obtainable in other climes, especially in effectively monitoring the validity of LPG cylinders.

His words: , ”DPR, which is responsible for regulating gas activities and ensuring compliance with Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Standards in the sector, has consistently warned against siting gas stations in residential areas and unauthorized places, yet the number of unauthorized gas plants keeps increasing on an annual basis and as part of its enforcement procedures, the DPR sealed a total of 40 gas plants in December 2019 in Akwa Ibom State over unsafe practices;

”Cognizant that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) established standards for gas cylinders in Nigeria (NIS587) which among others specifies a 15–year life cycle for gas cylinders and provides for every gas cylinder to go through mandatory re-qualification process every 5 years, but there are no facilities for requalification, certification and re-certification of gas cylinders in Nigeria;

”Also cognizant that in order to curb the domestic production and importation of substandard and fake gas cylinders, the then Director–General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, in 2014, assured Nigerians of the implementation of a new policy on the ownership of gas cylinders. Disturbed that six (6) years after the conception of the policy, the Federal Government is yet to commence the implementation of the new policy on ownership of cylinders in Nigeria while the production and importation of fake and substandard cylinders continue unabated while lives have been lost to the same problem which the proposed policy would have solved.”

When the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila called for a voice vote from members, the motion was passed without dissent and the Speaker subsequently mandated the Committee on gas resources to investigate the matter.

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