The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR) has registered about 2,500 members to enhance safety in selling and distributing cooking gas in Lagos State.
The National Chairman of LPGAR, Mr Michael Umudu, gave the figure in an interview in Lagos last week.
The LPGAR is an affiliate of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
Umudu said that the union prioritised safety of all stakeholders in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) subsector.
Umudu said that the registration was to eliminate operation of cooking gas retailers without adherence to safety requirements.
He said that lack of safety requirements caused gas explosion, which claimed lives and destroyed property worth billions of naira.
Umudu said: ” Currently, LPGAR has over 2,500 registered members but only about 500 have the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) licence to operate.
“What we are doing is to assist those who are yet to get DPR approval to upgrade their facilities or relocate to safer locations to meet the minimum safety standards.
“We need to have standards because people cannot just wake up and start retailing gas without meeting the requirements.
“That is why we have incidents of gas explosion which affect lives and property of Nigerians.”
According to him, it is better to register LPG retailers, enlighten them and monitor their activities to ensure they comply with safety standards than refuse them registration.
“We feel that once they belong to LPGAR, they will see the need to follow safety requirements guiding the business and stop illegal and unsafe activities,” he said.
Umudu disclosed that LPGAR was part of the committee set up by the DPR to improve safety in LPG business in Lagos State.
He recalled that the committee had the mandate of accelerating the process of issuing licences to retailers.
“The committee is to put up modalities to ensure that only those duly registered and in compliance with safety requirements get gas supply.
“It is also to look out for defaulters and promptly report them to authorities, especially those operating in unsafe locations,” Umudu said.
According to him, stronger collaboration among the DPR, gas marketers and retailers will help to restore sanity to the LPG industry and reduce incidents of gas explosion.