Marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) product commonly known as cooking gas have raised fear of imminent calamity arising from the sale of cooking gas at almost every filling station in Nigeria.
The marketers under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) decried the unwholesome practice in which owners of petrol stations now have add-on cooking gas skids in their stations without considering the lives and properties of the Nigerian masses who either patronise them or live around the stations.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos, the President of the association, Mr. Nosa Ogieva-Okunbo, called on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the federal government to take urgent action towards bringing an end to such dangerous practice.
Ogieva-Okunbo said: “There is this monstrous machine called ‘Add-on Skid’ that is being installed in petrol stations. As you are aware, our association’s main aim and objective is to deepen the use of gas in this country, and we want majority of Nigerians to be connected to the use of gas, either as a source of energy for automobiles or for cooking purposes.
“But we cannot close our eyes while the lives and properties of Nigerians are being put in a dangerous situation. Based on this, I decided to meet with you and tell you that the danger ahead is enormous. It’s like a time bomb waiting to explode.
“If you go to filling stations these days, you see that they are putting up add-on gas plants – cooking gas plants in their filling stations, stations that were originally not approved for gas plants, they were approved for petrol, diesel and kerosene.
“Therefore, I want to use this opportunity to appeal to DPR to urgently step into it, step up their activity and to stop forthwith, granting or approving add-ons to filling stations, and all existing filling stations with add-ons must be dismantled because it is an aberration to the rules and guidelines for operating in the LPG industry.
“So we are appealing to the federal government to step up and stop the use of filling stations as gas plants.
“There are rules and regulations guiding siting of plants; what is required, but in this case, you will have in the same filling station eatery, you have in the same filling station the discharge of gas, yet they are selling fuel to people.”
He also said: “Okada people (commercial motorcyclists) will come and they would sell fuel to them while they are discharging gas; there are so many of these skids in filling stations close to kitchens.
“God forbid there is a fire outbreak. You are having two highly inflammable petroleum products in the same place. A whole street will be wiped out because the fronts of filling stations are not fenced off like a plant.”