- Safety in Focus as More People Embrace Cooking Gas
As more Nigerians shift from kerosene to Liquefied Petroleum Gas for cooking, industry stakeholders have highlighted the need for more sensitisation to safety in order to prevent accidents.
The LPG consumption in the country is said to have increased to over 600,000 metric tonnes per annum from around 70,000MT in 2007.
According to the Department of Petroleum Resources, the depot LPG storage capacity in Lagos increased from 6,000 metric tonnes in 2014 to 30,000MT in 2017, with more capacity expansion underway.
“People are still scared when it comes to the consumption of gas because they believe they can’t handle it,” the Zonal Controller, DPR, Lagos Zone, Mr. Oluwole Akinyosoye, said, adding that industry players should do more to sensitise the public.
He said at the Nipco’s Safety Week, “You need to be able to educate our people, to let them know that gas is volatile, but that is the energy you have to use now.
“There is considerable good penetration of gas skids in Nigeria, especially in Lagos. But you still need to put the safety out there for them to understand; January 15, 2018 was a very sad day in Lagos; an incident happened around Magodo, and one person died. I can tell you that the operator of the gas plant lost hundreds of million naira worth of investment.”
Stressing the need to take safety seriously at home, he said, “Safety starts from our home; we should check our gas, burners, among others, always.”
He said the DPR was engaging the Nigerian National Petroleum Company and other players to ensure “we don’t just load the product, but to ensure those trucks are fit for purpose. Because if you load trucks that are not fit for purpose, and there is an explosion in your facility, God forbids, on the way to the plant, or at the plant, it will be on record that the truck loaded from the company.
“That is why the DPR is looking at the LPG guidelines once again. And we are writing a letter on what to look for before loading a truck; we want to ensure that before any truck loads, you must ensure it has the right shut-off valves, and be correctly installed.”
Akinyosoye said gas plant owners and operators must ensure that customers adhered to safety rules.
The Safety Chief, Nipco, Mr. Vitalis Ofoegbu, said, “Gas is very safe if you can abide by the rules. Everybody can make use of gas if they can follow the simple rules of it.
“Nigeria has the largest quantity of gas in Africa and most people in rural areas are still making use of firewood. We will introduce gas to the rural areas; we don’t want them to use firewood any longer.”
He advised consumers not to use their gas cylinders whenever they observed any problem.
The Managing Director, Nipco Limited, Sanjay Teotia, said at an event to commemorate this year’s World Safety Day, said, “We are fully committed to the zero campaign of ensuring zero incidents and fatality in all our operations since the commencement of loading and ancillary services in 2004.
Teotia stated this at a programme to educate the LPG truck drivers on the LPG operating and safety precautions where he was represented by the General Manager, Administration/Human Resources, Mr. John Okpeku.