By Ibukun Emiola
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it will continue to clamp down on illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Skid and stand alone operators.
This, it said, was to ensure safe handling of cooking gas in the country.
Mr Oluyemi Olaonipekun, the Operations Controller of the Ibadan Field Office of DPR, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Thursday.
He said that with the increase in the use of LPG, there was the need to sensitise people on the dangers inherent in its mishandling.
“We have also increased our surveillance in the area of gas sales and distribution because we discovered that since there is shortfall in kerosene supply, there has been serious increase in the usage of LPG and sales for domestic purpose.
“This has brought in other issues, especially safety and safe handling of the product while in stock and while in use.
“So far, from Feb. 28 till date, we have clamped down 14 illegal LPG skids and stand alone gas plants for violating stipulated requirements,” Olaonipekun said.
He further stated that DPR had evolved sensitisation messages to be disseminated to Nigerians on how to handle LPG whether in the house or selling point.
“We need to build safety consciousness in our people, either when using the product or when it is in store,” he said.
Mr Ibraheem Sadiq, DPR Head of Operations in Ibadan, also emphasised the need to adhere to the laid down requirements set for LPG operators.
“The regulation is so flexible; if you cannot afford a full fledged giant gas plant, the requirements allow you to have what is called a skid in the filling station.
“But there are requirements that the environment must fulfill in terms of spacing and closeness to other facilities like the underground storage tank and the gas tank itself.
“Mostly, the requirements allows for 5 metric tonnes in filling stations and there must be a distance of not less than five meters from where you install the tank to the nearest underground tank and other adjoining facilities,” he said.
Sadiq, who said government was committed to encouraging the use of cooking gas, disclosed that the requirements were being reviewed so that more people could come into the gas business. (NAN)