By Kunle Adedoyin
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday sealed off four Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants in Lagos over non-compliance and illegal operations..
Officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), which collaborated with the DPR in the exercise, also arrested three employees of the sealed cooking gas (LPG) plants.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the gas stations sealed off include Geogas Gas Filling Plant, Oduduwa Road, Oworonsoki and Classic Gas, MKO Abiola Market, Agege, Lagos.
Also shut down by the petroleum regulatory agency were Al-Morruf Gas Plant and Vertex Gas, both located in the Agege axis of the state.
Abel Igheghe, Head, Gas, DPR, Lagos Zonal Office, said over 54 gas plants had been sealed off in 2019 for not complying with international standards.
Igheghe said the LPG plants were sealed for being illegal and operating within densely populated residential areas, schools and market places.
“These gas plants were sealed by DPR for not meeting international safety standard in their operations,” Igheghe said.
“Some of them, like the one inside MKO Abiola Market, pose a great threat to lives and property of people nearby.
“You cannot be refilling gas in this kind of location because fire can be ignited from any source due to its proximity to a busy road and other businesses.”
He said all the sealed facilities did not meet the minimum 15 meters required for such operations which is a critical safety requirement.
Igheghe said the sealed stations were also operating without approval or license from the DPR, and the agency would continue to clamp down on such illegal plants.
“We have served them notices to dismantle these structures and we will continue to carry out surveillance to ensure that they are removed,’’ he said.
Igheghe said the DPR was collaborating with the NSCDC to enforce compliance with the closure order because the agency itself had no power to arrest or prosecute defaulters.
He appealed to Nigerians to assist the agency in reporting such illegal facilities operating within their areas to avert tragedies caused by gas explosions.