…Warns operators against flouting safety measures
Nathaniel Gbaoron, Lafia
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDRA), in Nasarawa State, has shut down three mini-gas plants with a warning to operators to desist from flaunting safety measures.
NMDRA controller in the state, Alhaji Ahmed Gwaram, who handed the warning in Lafia, said the issue of safety in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas subsector is increasingly becoming of serious concern to the industry stakeholders and Nigerians.
He said although the state was yet to experience measure gas explosion incident, the authority has however, taken the issue of safety measures seriously and deployed teams on surveillance duties across urban centres in the state.
He said his office has shut three mini-gas plants that were illegally constructed in Shabu, a suburb of Lafia, the state capital; Keffi and Karu local government areas.
He noted that his office is working to ensure that only those with vast knowledge of the product are allowed license to operate, while also ensuring that stations are not allowed around residential areas.
He attributed the rising incidences of explosion in some parts of the country to poor safety procedures and ignorance among vendors and end users.
He said while some operators go through “back door” to obtain approvals to operate, many end users have little knowledge about cylinders and how to handle same.
“Cylinders have expiration date, and quantity of gas each can take. But you find out that most of the cylinders that customers take to stations are worn out and rusty with information on expiration date and quantity already lost.
“So often times, cylinders are filled beyond the capacity they can take. And because of the nature of gas, it will continue to bounce inside the cylinder, extending it beyond limit. Any little contact can result to explosion at that point,” he explained.
He said the authority in the state, has already commenced public enlightenment and sensitisation on how to identify substandard cylinders from the originals, and also rusty and old ones, targeting gas stations, plants and homes.
He noted that public enlightenment will be intensified in the coming weeks with messages deployed in local languages in the ongoing drive to avert accidents.