The Lagos State Government has declared retail gas operators or marketers operating within the state without proper safety measures would be shut down.
The Director General Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola said this while at the opening ceremony of Oil and Gas Stakeholders Safety Summit with the theme; ‘Safe Retail Gas Operation in Lagos State’, said the move is to guide against incessant avoidable gas explosions.
Mojola who was represented by the Technical Adviser at the Commission, Mr. Seun Awojobi explained that the whole essence of the summit is to train practitioners in the sector on how to handle LPG in a more save manner.
“We know of past incidents that had happened, some ranging from industrial to residential accidents where several lives were lost and Safety Commission”s mandate is to ensure that lives and property are safe.”
“Event like this is to bring the practitioners in the Liquified gas sector together and train them on best practices around the usage of gas and see how we can safe more lives.” he said
He maintained that the State government has identified about 2,500 gas retail shops across the State and its working with the association to weed out marketers that are selling without proper safety measures.
According to him “The government has done the enumeration on retail gas outlets in lagos this is with the intent of scaling up their safety measures for the one that are open to scalling and for the one that we believe that will pose harm or danger to the environment, we are shutting them down.”
He said that several Incidents had occured in the past and the Summit was to further prevent these avoidable incidents with more training and enlightenment.
The Special Adviser to Mr Governor on Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende said that massive investment in this sector by the current administration has led to drastic reduction in fire outbreaks and gas explosions, stressing Government commitment to protection of lives and property across the State.
Ogunlende who was represented by Dr. Bukola Ayinla added that high priority placed on safety of lives and property by Sanwo-Olu administration is evident by resources that have been deployed in the procurement of fire fighting apparatus, construction of new fire stations and employment of over 425 fire fighters to join the more experienced firemen already in the fleet.
He however advised Lagosians to take necessary precautions and avoid unsafe practices that could lead to accidents, as government could only deploy already scarce resources to manage those avoidable accidents and disasters.
Speaking on the topic; Safe Gas Handling: Transportation and Dispensing Operation, a resource person at the training, Engr. Jamiu Badmos took participants through the causes of gas explosions which he attributed to human error.
He identified that the inappropriate care in the handling and storage of compressed gas cylinders led to accidents as operators must adhere to the basic safety requirement to handle gas cylinders.
According to him, operators must know and understand gas properties, check equipment consistently to ensure no leakages, develop emergency plans and be aware of potential hazards and always ensure the use of personal protective equipment.
He however urged government to sanction any erring practitioners who refused to abide by the safety regulations and guidelines.
Other presentations delved into Safe Management of Retail Gas Accidents, Regulatory Framework for Retail Gas Business in Lagos State and Government regulations, safety and profit making in Retail Gas Business.
Others who spoke at the Summit observed that most gas explosions occured from those who do not imbibe the culture of safety and following the laid down guidelines regulations that relates to handling of hydro carbon.
They urged gas retail shops and the end users to understand the proper safety handling measures and follow the guidelines to ensure that the operations are done within the confines of the law and safely done.