Kunle Kalejaye 15 December 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, says it will begin a clampdown on non-registered Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, retailers in Ogun and Lagos states beginning from January, 2017 – next month.
DPR’s Lagos zonal officer, Gas, Mr. Ekitudo Williams, who sent out the warning, said the agency will commence a holistic implementation of laws regulating the LPG business and that it will shutdown unlicensed shops in addition to arresting and prosecuting the illegal operators.
He spoke in Lagos at a safety training workshop by the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers, LPGAR, Branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Lagos State Chapter.
According to him, the impending action had officially been conveyed to LPGAR-NUPENG leaders by DPR on October 31, 2016.
“Unlicensed gas retailers are liable to (1) arrest, (2) prosecution, (3) closure of their gas shops or other retailing outlets and (4) other punitive action as considered appropriate by DPR,” Williams said.
Explaining that DPR had exercised patience for years on the matter while appealing to retailers to comply with the laws, he alleged that LPGAR-NUPENG had also, for years, encouraged its members to apply for license using its mechanism, but, many refused to comply.
He further stated: “LPGAR can no longer protect any retailer who refuses to abide by the rules and regulations governing cooking gas retailing business as set by DPR.
“You are expected to have one shop-one license as a matter of urgency to observe and put in place (1) license, (2) two fire extinguishers (liquid and powder of at least 5kg each), (3) bucket of sharp sand, (4) well ventilated shop, distance from fire sources, display of appropriate warning signs and emergency number, LP Gas training certificate or the sector’s valid seminar certificate”.
At the training workshop tagged, “LPG Retailing: The Safety Watch in Lagos”, LPGAR-NUPENG urged its members to be more safety conscious in carrying out their business.
Chairman of the Lagos Chapter, Mr. David Okenwa, said it was important for cooking gas retailers to be well informed on the latest safety tips that would enhance their operations without hazardous effect on themselves, the people and the environment.
He said the training, which was conducted in collaboration with Crownbondis Global Resources Nigeria Ltd, a health, safety and environment consultant, is to certify trained LPG retailer dealers in Lagos.
“We want to make sure that in every nook and cranny of Lagos State, where cooking gas is sold, retailers must be well trained because our concern is the safety aspect of the business, and the proliferation in the system now has made it possible for every Tom, Dick and Harry to sell the product.
“Most dealers don’t know anything about safety, as a result we’ve had several fire cases in Lagos. That is why we have organised this workshop for our members, to sensitise cooking gas retailers on safety measures for their business,” he said.
LPGAR-NUPENG National Chairman, Mr. Chika Michael Umudu, said the association was co-operating with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, to tackle the menace of substandard cooking gas cylinders in the market.