FG Begins Clampdown On Illegal Gas Plants, Roadside Retailers
The Federal Government has commenced clampdown on illegal gas plants and roadside retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), popularly known as cooking gas.
Bassey Nkanga, DPR’s Operations Controller, Port Harcourt Zone, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, on the sideline of the department’s on-going surveillance on gas plants in the area.
“We also had several meetings with other various stakeholders in the gas sector. We told them those operating without licence will not be allowed to operate again.”
“We even gave them time within which they have to renew their licences which expired two months ago, and we have decided to pull the full weight of the law on all operators operating without licenses.”
“There is a fine. For those operating without a valid licence and those that are illegal, we hand them over to the security agencies. It is illegal to operate without licence.”
“This exercise has just started on the gas facilities, and it would have continued. We have requirements and you must meet the requirement before you are allowed to set up a gas plant.”
NAN reports that government had in May stopped ownership of cylinders from consumers, as well as barred the refilling of gas cylinders by roadsides and other unauthorized places.
The policy, the government said would require that the ownership of LPG cylinders rest solely with the dealers and distributors.
According to Nkanga, the department had held several meetings with operators of gas plants and LPG retailers to introduce them to standard minimum requirements in the industry.
Nkanga further disclosed that the government was clamping down on operators of illegal gas plants operating without valid licence and others operating within residential areas.
He said most of the outlets lacked basic and standard minimum requirements like fire extinguishers and detectors, water sprinkler, temperature gauge, pressure and volume, amongst others.
The department he said, had brought in highly competent personnel to oversee its gas division and ensure that operators functioned within stipulated guidelines and regulations.
“The new model by government decanting (transferring from one gas cylinder to another) is not allowed trans-filling (sip) is not allowed.
“That is why we are encouraging, enlightening and engaging them (retailers) to adopt the new methodologies whereby somebody would have to drop (empty cylinder) and pick another one with gas.”
The era of decanting, trans-canting and transferring from one cylinder to the other is no longer going to be allowed.”
“So we have been talking to them (retailers) and they even formed a union to register for the Category D licence. A lot of them have turned up and so many are yet to turn up.”
Nkanga said government was working hard to ensure the penetration of affordable cooking gas to rural areas in the country.
NAN reports that four gas plants, Forte Oil, Sun Gas, Timi Gas Limited and Kayzavia Energy were either sealed for not having valid permits and operating without the necessary safety precautions.