(R-L) Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, Representative of former head of state, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Akanle Ibrahim Idowu and Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce, Bimbo Ashiru at the commissioning of the ultra-modern NNPC Retail Mega Station in Sagamu
he Managing Director, Ultimate Gas Ltd and immediate past President of the Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM); Alhaji Auwalu Ilu has decried the increase in the setting up of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants popularly known as cooking gas around residential areas across Nigeria.
In an exclusive chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, Auwalu described the LPG plants close to people’s homes as a disaster waiting to happen.
He alleged that many of the LPG plants across the country are operating illegally and that many of them do not have the right certification from the regulatory body; the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Auwalu told our correspondent that “there are regulations as to where a gas plant should be sited and what the requirements are, the questions now is that, the facilities we see all around, are they licensed by the DPR? If they are licensed by DPR then it means that they meet the requirements, but if they are not, it means they are operating illegally, and I understand that a lot of them are operating without the DPR license”.
He noted that there are specific requirements as to where a gas terminal should be sited and the DPR is responsible for sensitizing people in this regard. He charged the regulatory agency to carry out more enforcement and supervision in order to clampdown on any non-compliant gas plant.
“From my own understanding, there are lots of people who are just operating illegally without the DPR approval, so now we cannot even tell which of them is approved”
Findings by our correspondent revealed that such illegal plants are highly located around, Ijegun, Ikotun, Cele-Ijesha, Ota, Sango, Ayobo, Abule Egba, Ijoko, and Ikorodu axis, among others.
This apparently has become more worrisome with the influx of illegal gas filling plants located in unlicensed corridors, shops and open spaces close to residential areas, and thereby posing threat to safety of innocent residents.
It was learnt that, efforts to halt the spread of the illegal plants by the operators were dampened with the poor regulation mechanism of the DPR, and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) in some cases.
Another operator, Ugochukwu Usoh, alleged that the monitoring exercise by the regulatory agencies is low, hence giving the players liberty to operate at will, which is risky for consumers.
“For example, many illegal gas plants are now springing up in various locations across the country, but the agencies are nowhere to be found to curtail such practices and these are dangerous to people living close to such facilities,”
The DPR’s gas sector role is to regulate gas activities; conserve Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources; optimize government take in gas activities; ensure compliance with Health Safety & Environment (HSE) Standards; administer gas acreages and concessions and implement government policies on gas matters.