The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to clamp down on illegal depots of Liquefied Petroleum Gas also known as cooking gas.
Specifically, the House urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (now defunct) to “immediately commence a raid on illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas stations across the country to safeguard lives and properties of the people.”
The call was based on a motion moved by a member, Taiwo Oluga, which the lawmakers unanimously adopted at the plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion titled ‘Need to Check Illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas Stations Across the Country,’ Oluga noted that the (defunct) DPR is statutorily empowered to ensure compliance with petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines in the oil industry.
She also noted that its powers include monitoring drilling sites, production wells, production platforms and flow-stations, crude oil terminals, refineries, storage depots, pump stations, retail outlets and other locations where petroleum, natural gas and allied products are stored
The lawmaker added that the Department is responsible for ensuring that health, safety and environmental regulations in the oil industry conform to international best practices;
Oluga said, “The House is concerned that there is an avalanche of illegal marketers and gas outlets of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, otherwise known as cooking gas, on the streets in the Federal Capital Territory and other states of the federation, which is in contravention of international health and safety standards.
“The House is also concerned that the prevalence of illegal marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) on the streets is a critical threat to lives and properties of the citizenry.”
In a related development, the House has also called on the Federal Government to “be proactive by developing effective mechanisms and explore different mitigation options to cushion the effect of persistent rising in the price of LPG on the common citizens.”
The House also mandated its Committee on Gas Resources to liaise with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, to “proffer a lasting solution to the increase in the price of cooking gas.”
Another member of the House, Rasheed Afolabi, had moved a separate motion titled ‘Urgent Need to Check the Persistent Increase in the Price of Liquefied Natural Gas (Cooking Gas).’
Moving the motion, Afolabi noted that “Nigerians have been facing various challenges including insecurity, extreme poverty, high cost of food and essential consumables and, most recently, a persistent rise in the price of cooking gas.”
The lawmaker also noted that cooking gas is a basic need for many Nigerians, especially those living in the urban and semi-urban areas who use it daily for the preparation of meals.
He said, “The House is concerned that Nigeria, which is ranked 9th among the countries in the world with the highest reservoirs of gas resources with about 207 trillion standard cubits’ feet as of 2019, would subject its citizens to such hardship arising from the high cost of cooking gas.”