.Decries fatalities in 2017
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has restated its commitment to achieving its target of attaining zero Loss Time Incidences (LTI) in the downstream sector and decried the fire incidents, which caused fatalities in 2017.
Speaking at the 2017 annual general meeting (AGM) of the Lagos Zonal Office of the DPR held at the weekend in Lagos, the Director of DPR, Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan said the ill-fated incidences recorded in 2017 were unfortunate and dire reminder of the dangers inherent in the operating environment when the operators fail to adhere to safety rules.
The DPR director, who was represented by the agencyâ€™s head of downstream operations, Mr. UK Ndanusa, identified the major fatalities in 2017 to include the fire incident at the Apapa Jetty belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and operated by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), which claimed four lives and the retail outlet fire incident in Ogun State, which recorded six fatalities.
Ladan, who commiserated with the families of those that lost loved ones during the incidents, urged the operators to ensure that all hands are on deck to forestall any future recurrence.
Also speaking at the AGM, which has â€œSafety â€“Our Joint Responsibility,â€ as the theme, the DPRâ€™s Lagos Zonal Operations Controller, Mr. Wole Akinyosoye stated that the gas skid explosion, which claimed six lives in Ogun State was an avoidable incident, adding that more people are rushing into the gas business without acquiring the necessary skills and knowing the statutory entry requirements.
â€œIllegal gas plants and skids are mushrooming and more people are rushing into the gas business without taking time to familiarise themselves with the modus operandi on skill and statutory requirement for entry and operations. This has led to increasing fire incidents and near-misses in recent times. For example, early this year, six lives were lost to an explosion in a gas skid somewhere in Ogun State. Subsequent inquest by the DPR revealed it was an avoidable incident. We also found the lives could have been saved had the minimum safety procedures been followed and the DPR involved in the events leading to the operations in the facility, as prescribed by law. Recently, another gas explosion occurred somewhere in sub-urban Lagos, where three people were wounded and one, very critically,â€ Akinyosoye explained.
The DPR zonal operations controller, however, noted that no incident was recorded from the LPG facilities registered by the regulatory agency in 2017, stressing that the agencyâ€™s preliminary deductions from the incidents was that it pays to operate under regulation, where safety measures are prescribed and followed through.
â€œConsequently, the DPR has been shutting illegal gas facilities with the support of the security agencies, especially the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps. Illegal operators should prepare for more shut-down and stricter measures in the coming year, as only DPR licensed operators would be allowed in the oil and gas sector to engender safe operations,â€ he added.