DPR goes after illegal gas marketers

Sam Iketuonye 16 August 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, says it will sanction those engaged in illegal distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, more popularly known as cooking gas.

It said unlicensed distributors would be severely punished. DPR’s Operations Controller, Lagos Zonal Office, DPR, Mr. Olugbenga Kuku, stated this, as he lamented that many marketers stored and sold LPG without valid licences, a development, he said, was contrary to the law.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the DPR and LPG operators/stakeholders in Lagos, Kuku said: “The Department wishes to reiterate its advice to LPG plant owners who continue to sell products to unlicensed distributors and bulk end users despite directives against this practice. Be informed that, henceforth, all violators of this regulation which stipulates selling and distribution of any petroleum product to licensed companies only will be severely sanctioned.

“We want to use this medium to direct all LPG plant operators to ensure that resell points have valid licence. Our inspectors have been directed to ensure compliance.”

He also announced a ban on truck-to-cylinder and cylinder-to-cylinder dispensing of cooking gas, describing them as illegal and dangerous.

“Dispensing of LPG by bobtail trucks is illegal and cylinder-to-cylinder refilling is dangerous and unlawful. Perpetrators, if caught, shall face appropriate sanction,” Kuku warned.

The DPR cxecutive, who also complained that some LPG marketers had the habit of not renewing their operating licences, warned that officials of the DPR would be commencing constant visits to plants to enforce compliance.

“In as much as we encourage the proliferation of LPG plants, prospective plant owners must follow due process to obtain all requisite approvals before the commencement of any upgrade or modification of plant,” Kuku stated.

According to Kuku also, the visit to licenced LPG plants was aimed at ensuring compliance with statutory provisions on operational safety.

He stressed: “The Department will embark on operational facility audit of licensed plants starting from next month to ensure strict compliance to statutory guidelines and standards.

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