Champion Newspapers Limited
For a better society

Ekpo visits site of gas truck accident in Ogun State

29
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

.Demands distributors invest in more pipelines to deliver gas to end users

.FG promise to compensate victims

.As NMDPRA call on stakeholders to always ensure industry safety standard.

UGO AMADI

 

Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, today visited the site of the gas explosion at Ita Oshin in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where there was a loss of life and destruction of property, as a truck conveying CNG, which experienced brake failure, crashed into the road barricade and the truck head went up in flames.

 

This is as the Federal Government says families of those who lost their lives in Saturday’s gas explosion at Ita-Oshin in Abeokuta, Ogun, will be compensated.It also said that those who lost properties and others receiving treatment in the hospital would be compensated.

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, made this known during an on-the-spot assessment of the situation on Wednesday in Abeokuta.

 

On the Minister’s entourage were the Authority Chief Executive (ACE) of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, members of the Minister’s technical team and officials of the NMDPRA.

 

The Minister was received by Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who thanked him for the visit,  stressing the importance of a thorough investigation to unravel the root cause of the accident and implementation of recommendations made to forestall future re-occurances.

 

 

Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, and other officials of the state government had conducted Ekpo and his team on tour of the accident site.

 

 

The Minister commiserated with families affected by the tragedy and Gasco Marine Ltd,, owners of the gas truck. He also commended the swift response of  fire service personnel, and first responders, in the aftermath of the gas explosion even as he reiterated his commitment to grow the gas space.

 

Ekpo said going forward, rather than trucking to end users, the regulators will emphasize issuance of distribution licences that will ensure that licensed distributors invest in the installation of pipelines to deliver gas directly to end users.

 

He said the shift from trucking to pipeline transportation would not only enhance safety, but improve efficiency and reliability in delivering gas to consumers.

 

“As the Honourable Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), I am committed to growing the gas space, but however I can assure you that every effort is being made to prevent such accidents as this one from occurring in the future,” he said.

 

Ekpo described the incident as regrettable saying the lives of every citizen is important.

He noted that effective standards must be maintained to avert any future disasters that might be connected to gas.

 

The minister, who was in the company of the Deputy Governor of Ogun, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, noted that anything below proper standard would not be tolerated.

According to him, it has become expedient to ensure standard before asking citizens to install the CNG in their vehicles.

 

He called on CNG companies to involve the regulators like the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) so as to ensure that whatever is used in all vehicles meet the necessary standards.

“What we’re emphasising on is maintaining standard; anything that falls below that will not be appreciated.

 

“We noticed cracks in the cylinders when we visited the junkyard and this may be because it wasn’t up to standard thereby causing a friction forcing it open.

“If this is not checked and we call our people to install it in their vehicles without ascertaining the standard, it’ll pose more danger.

 

“This is a wake up call to you and to us that we should rise up to the challenge of  the day and involve  regulators to make sure we stick to standards so that we don’t have a recurrence of this.

“We thank God that the cylinder didn’t explode; it would have been a different story.”

Ekpo thanked the state government for promptly providing adequate response when the accident occurred.

 

Also on ground was Mr Farouk Ahmed, the Authority Chief Executive of the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA),  who expressed concern about the incident.

He noted that though the incident was regrettable but “luckily it was not too drastic”.

“We have training programmes for drivers of these vehicles including trucks and we are  going to insist that they must be certified before they carry this kind of tasks,” Ahmed said.

Speaking earlier, the deputy governor said it was imperative to ensure that safety is not compromised to avert future accidents.

 

According to her, the government will  ensure that the people do not have a bad impression about the usage of CNG.

 

 

Comments are closed.