The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has warned against siting eateries at filling stations because of inherent dangers surrounding such operations.
President of the association, Mr. Nosakhare Ogieva-Okunbor, in an interactive session with journalists at the weekend, urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to as matter of urgency disapprove siting of gas plants within station where eateries operate.
Ogieva-Okunbor frowned at locating liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refilling plants in petroleum retail outlets where eateries are also sited.
He said that most stations now site eateries and gas refilling together where kitchen is being operated which exposes customers to hazards.
He therefore urged the DPR to dismantle such stations and also stop giving approvals to such ventures, adding that if stringent actions are not taken, customers would be exposed to hazards.
Ogieva-Okunbor, said that addition of skid gas plant in fuel stations was equally dangerous, and urged the DPR to discontinue the approval of selling LPG. He said both the LPG and the premium motor spirit (petrol) were highly inflammable and should operate on separate locations as LPG cylinders were highly hazardous.
Ogieva-Okunbor, called on the federal and state governments to live up to their responsibilities by checkmating fuel stations that sell gas where eateries were also sited within the premises.
He said government should commence immediate demolition of such illegal gas plants within such fuel stations and eateries environment.
“The earlier the government act fast, the better for Nigerians. Plant operators must be conversant with all safety needs of the LPG plant operations. Gas plant should stand alone without being attached to filing stations or eateries,” Ogieva-Okunbor said.
He advised the DPR to embark on an operational facility audit of unlicensed gas plants within filling stations to ensure strict compliance to statutory guidelines and standards.
He said most stations are trying to bastardise government’s free hands to promote and deepen cooking gas utilisation. “But we under NALPGAM, will not allow those who neglect the guidelines and principles to spoil the market,” he said.
He said Nigeria must move quickly in the direction of greater per capita consumption of gas, noting that many continued to depend on kerosene and firewood for their cooking, despite the attendant negative implications.
Ogieva-Okunbor said cooking gas remained cleaner and cheaper and therefore, should be the preferred option for fuel users and urged government to fast-track its plans to make millions of homes use cooking gas within two years.
According to him, there is hardly any doubt that the socio-economic benefits of switching from kerosene, firewood and charcoal to cooking gas are innumerable.
“For instance, Nigeria has commercial reserves of natural gas. LPG is also known to be cheaper and cleaner than other domestic fuels,” he said.
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