Against the backdrop of the gas explosion in Nasarawa State on Monday, the Nigeria Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) has highlighted the need for greater enforcement of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) standards and code of practice within the industry across the country.
“Without this, the proliferation of substandard and undocumented gas facilities/infrastructure will remain a recurrent issue, which ultimately undermines the efforts of law abiding industry practitioners,” the President, NLPGA, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The association said its governing council and members were saddened by the explosion, adding, “Our sincere condolences go to the affected families who lost their loved ones and we commiserate with those who were directly and indirectly affected by this unfortunate incident.
According to the statement, LPG, popularly known as cooking gas, is a valuable resource that serves Nigerians well, and has helped two million new homes switch to a cleaner gaseous fuel; achieve a reduction in deforestation; reduce gas flaring through the recovery of LPG; and reduce respiratory and health-related sicknesses among women and children.
The NLPGA said, “This recent occurrence reiterates the need to address the three overarching industry safety objectives, namely safe handling and best practices in LPG; prevention of loss of containment (gas leaks), and successful disaster management.”
It said it had in recent times collaborated with the regulatory agencies such as Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to draft and develop processes and procedures “to ensure that best practices are upheld within the industry to ensure the safety of lives and property.”
“There has been commendable improvement on the part of the regulators which has seen them share reports on previous similar occurrences with stakeholders. These have helped the association improve on its delivery of training programmes geared towards addressing some of these gaps in order to improve safety practices, especially during product handling/transfer operations.
“It is important to state at this juncture that there are gas facilities that have operated within the LPG industry for more than 30 years without incident. This gives credence to the fact that gas is a safe fuel to use; the main issue centres on misuse or inadequately trained personnel,” the NLPGA added.