The marketers also urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to stop giving approvals to such ventures.
The NALPGAM President, Mr. Nosakhare Ogieva-Okunbor, said addition of skid gas plant in fuel stations is dangerous, and urged the DPR to discontinue the approval of selling LPG, also called cooking gas, in petrol filling stations.
He said both the LPG and the premium motor spirit (petrol) are highly inflammable and needed to be on separate locations as LPG cylinders are highly hazardous.The NALPGAM chief expressed worry over the increasing number of filling stations selling cooking gas, not minding the hazardous implications.
Ogieva-Okunbor said the proliferation of fuel and gas-filling stations in the same location across the country has raised safety concerns, considering the less than satisfactory compliance with minimum environmental safety requirements for the operations of those facilities.
According to him, some filling station owners are in the habit of installing ad-on gas machine later in their fuel stations, but which was not in the original building plans at the onset. “As a matter of urgency, the DPR should commence dismantling of such gas plants in filling stations.
“Most stations have neglected the rules and regulation. They are now locating gas plant in most stations across that states. Today, we see some people installing gas plants close to eateries’ kitchen within their stations and this is dangerous while they are discharging gas and selling fuel.
“We, the NALPGAM members cannot open our eyes and watch for something drastic to happen before we raise alarm,” he said.
Ogieva-Okunbor, however, called on the Federal and state governments to live up to their responsibilities by checkmating the fuel stations. He also said government should commence immediate demolition of such illegal gas plants within such fuel stations. “The earlier the government and officials act fast, the better for Nigerians.
“I also use this opportunity to thank the governments of Ogun and Ekiti states for stopping such act and sanitise the industry in their respective states. The states do not allow gas plant in filling station, I also urge other states to follow suit in banning gas in fuel stations.
“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,” 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.