In response to incessant gas explosions and fires in the State and in other parts of the country, the Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola has convened a meeting of regulators and stakeholders in the sector to deliberate on possible solutions.
At the close of the meeting held in Alausa, Ikeja, the Lagos State Safety Commission in conjunction with Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources disclosed that the State government has commenced training and sensitization of all marketers and distributors of LPG, industrial and medical gases in the State.
Among the stakeholders at the meeting were Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers( MALPGAM) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers ( LPGAR).
According to the Director General, explosions may occur when gases are aldulterated, cylinders mishandled or when industrial and cooking gases are used close to sources of ignition.
Other causes are proliferation of gas retail outlets as well as improper training of operators and users on safe handling of gas.
In addition to the training exercise, safety audit of all gas distribution outfits will be conducted.
The DG stated that the safety audit exercise, will identify all hazards and unsafe practices that give rise to risks and incidents in the sector. Once these risks are removed or properly managed, rate of incidents will be eliminated or drastically reduced .
Lending his voice to the discourse, the Director, Oil and Gas operations at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Engr. Sesan Odukoya emphasized the need to streamline regulatory activities of all relevant MDAs of the State to avoid problems related to uncoordinated actions and multiplicity of inspections.
He suggested the following as possible solutions to curb the ugly incidents in the sector;
i. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources should be recognized as the One- Stop- Shop agency for coordination of all regulatory activities towards streamlining operations of the oil and gas sector.
ii. Ministry of Energy as well as Safety Commission should be contacted by the public for enforcement of safety standards in the sector.
iii. Formation of Technical working Committee with members drawn from Ministry of Energy, Safety Commission and Trade Unions from oil and gas sector for effective collaboration to ensure safety of lives and property
iv. Continuous training and sensitization of gas operators on safe cylinder and gas handling.
v. Acquisition of LPG plant removal equipment.
The Director General appealed to all operators in this critical sector to cooperate fully with Government operatives when they arrive their facility, “We are convinced that at the end of this annual exercise, Lagos will become a safer place for all” he said.