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Marketers to Fed Govt: regulate industrial gas retailing

THE NATION

Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has urged the Federal Government to regulate filling and retailing of industrial gases to forestall frequent gas explosions.

Gas explosions have claimed lives and property in different parts of the country, the latest being the explosion in Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State.

NALPGAM Executive Secretary Bassey Essien, in a statement in Lagos on Thursday, commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the January 4, 2020 incident.

Chairman of Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Simon Mallam, and his son, as well as three others, died in the explosion.

Essien faulted claims that the explosion occurred at an LPG (cooking gas) retailing facility, saying the cylinders involved contained acetylene gas used for industrial purposes by welders and other artisans.

He said: “The operations of cooking gas filling plants are highly regulated and monitored by the statutory government agencies.

“Members of NALPGAM, an association of all LPG marketing companies, duly licensed by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), also have put in place measures to regulate members.

“This is to ensure that the industry operates within the prescribed safety standards and procedures.

“Just as the DPR monitors and regulates the LPG filling plants, same should be extended to other inflammable products too such as acetylene and other industrial gases.

“The safety of lives and properties of Nigerians are very dear to us. Filling and retailing of industrial gases have to be stoutly monitored.”

According to him, a similar incident occurred in 2017 at Badagry area of Lagos State, where an explosion occurred at a shop where acetylene gas cylinders were stored and refilled recorded high fatalities.

He said: “Regulators should beam a searchlight on the activities of practitioners dealing in acetylene and other industrial gases so as to check these recurrent incidences.

“Failure to do this and the frequent misrepresentation in the media attributing acetylene explosions to cooking gas will erode consumers’ confidence in the use of LPG and heighten the fear factor that cooking gas usage is unsafe.”

Bassey also emphasised that NALPGAM does not encourage refilling of gas cylinders in shops except at licensed LPG plants and would continue to play a positive role in deepening gas penetration in the country.

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