The Lafia field office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday began a clampdown on illegal cooking gas retail shops operating in the 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State. Addressing journalists shortly after carrying out the clampdown exercise in Nasarawa Eggon and Lafia local government areas, the Lafia field operation controller of the DPR, Abdulraham Mohammed said that DPR has since stopped the approval for LPG skid refilling points. He continued that five cooking gas retail shops and two petrol filling stations were sealed in Lafia and Nasarawa Eggon towns for contravening operational guidelines during the clampdown operation.
According to Mohammed, “the five cooking gas refilling shops sealed by the DPR include Udoson Gas Company Ltd, Iyke and Faith Nig Ltd, Chuks Oil and Gas and Easy Cooking Gas all sited in Lafia, the state capital. The two petrol filling stations sealed are Rain Oil Filling station in Lafia and an unbranded filling station in Nasarawa Eggon” The operation controller explained that the five cooking gas refilling shops were sealed because proprietors of the outfits did not get approval from the DPR before going into operation. “The five gas refilling shops sealed are either storing the commodity in an unventilated and harsh environment, operating in the same premises with iron welders or located under high tension of electricity transmission lines which situations are capable of igniting gas explosion. The filling station at Nasarawa Eggon is sealed for illegal construction, while the Rain Oil filling station is sealed after been caught selling the commodity to customers in jerricans during our clampdown exercise.” He therefore warned operators or people who wanted to venture into the illegal business to desist from it or face the wrath of the law from the DPR. “Anyone who will be caught engaging in the illegal business henceforth would be charged to court to serve as a deterrent to others nursing such idea,” he threatened. Mohammed concluded by calling on the public to report the existence of any illegal gas refilling point in their locality to the law enforcement agencies or the DPR for proper sanction that would guarantee safety.