The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has set up a committee to enhance the safe sale and distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas in the country.
Michael Umudu, National Chairman, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR), a branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
Umudu said that the committee comprised of both gas marketers and retailers.
He said the six man-committee had two members each drawn from DPR, LPGAR and the Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALGAM) and was inaugurated recently after a meeting of LPG stakeholders.
Umudu said the committee would look at accelerating the process of issuing licences to retailers and also put up modalities to ensure that only those duly registered and had complied with the safety requirements get gas supply.
“Also, the committee is to look out for defaulters and promptly report them to the authorities, especially those operating in unsafe locations,” Umudu said.
According to him, increasing collaboration between the DPR and the stakeholders will help restore sanity to the LPG industry and reduce incidents of gas explosion in Nigeria.
“Currently, LPGAR has over 500 registered members and we have informed those operating their facilities in unsafe locations to relocate and others to upgrade to meet the minimum safety standard.
“We need to have a standard because people cannot just wake up and start retailing gas without meeting the DPR requirements.
“That is why we have incidents of gas explosion which affects lives and property of Nigerians.
“My advice to those involved in this kind of act is to follow the required processes and join us so that they can be properly trained and sensitised to enhance safety of the business,” he said.
He commended the DPR for stepping up on its regulatory duties of sanitising selling and distribution of cooking gas.
Umudu said: “Before now, our members use their individual names to apply for permits but now they need corporate names.
“Also, now you need fire service certification before you can obtain permit. Now, you also need tax clearance to show that you are ready for this business.
“These are some of the new regulations put in place by DPR but even though the process is more difficult, we appreciate that it will help in sanitising the industry.”
He said the agency also monitors LPG depots to ensure that only trucks belonging to identified suppliers were loaded which had helped in reducing proliferation of skids across the country.