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Ogun to tighten truck regulations to enhance road safety

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Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that a policy that would enforce road worthiness of truck heads plying roads in the state would be put in place.

 

Addressing the Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo and his entourage, who paid him a courtesy call in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, after visiting the site of last Saturday’s explosion, Governor Abiodun said attention would also be paid to gas cylinders used by the trucks to ensure quality and standard.

 

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, said the steps became necessary in view of the preponderance of gas utilisation in the state.

 

He said: “I was very worried when the report of the incident reached me, and the reason for that is that Ogun State is the industrial capital of Nigeria with over 6,000 manufacturing industries and companies. We enjoy gas reticulation more than any other state in Nigeria.

 

“With the explosion, a lot of questions were asked as to what happened, how it happened, and the lessons learnt. We have received a preliminary report from the Ministry of Environment.

 

“We have taken some steps to forestal future occurrence. We have shut down the company involved to conduct a safety audit, and investigations are ongoing to determine the immediate cause of the incident and how to ensure that it does not repeat itself.

 

“We must ensure that truck heads that convey gas are road worthy. We are going to put in place a policy that enforces road worthiness of trucks and looks at issues around standards. These issues will govern quality and assure us of the quality of the gas cylinders.”

 

Prince Abiodun said he was worried about how the public would perceive the incident, especially with the constitution of the Presidential Task Force on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to deepen the provision, utilization and off take of gas across the country.

 

He stressed the need for the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to be up and doing as the gas industry is fast evolving, noting that it was necessary to ensure adequate regulation of the industry.

 

While appreciating President Bola Tinubu for commiserating with the government and the people of the state on the incident, Governor Abiodun assured that his administration would collaborate with the federal government to find out the immediate cause and what needed to be done to guide against future occurrence and how to support those affected.

 

“I am glad that you have come and demonstrated that utmost responsiveness and concern which is heart warning and I am sure that your coming itself will assure the people of Ogun State that they are not alone in this incident and we, both the state and the federal government, are cooperating and collaborating to find solution to the incident,” the governor assured.

 

Speaking earlier, Rt. Hon. Ekpo, said he was in the state in his capacity as the Minister in charge of gas on behalf of the president, to assess the extent of damage done by the explosion and report same for proper and prompt response.

 

While sympathizing with the families of the victims and those who lost property and businesses, the Minister said despite the incident, there was a need to continue with the CNG initiative to drive the economy as it is the cleanest source of energy.

 

Ekpo said he came with managers of the gas industry to find out what happened with a view to looking at how to address it to prevent future occurrence, even as he appreciated the governor for rising up to the occasion to assuage the sufferings of the people.

 

“Let me assure you that at the Ministry, we are taking gas infrastructure very seriously and by the time we complete the AKK, the conveyance of gas through the visual means will be reduced by taking the impact away from our roads.

 

“I have also told the Authority Chief to ensure that the companies they may be releasing license to have the capacity to pipe the gas to the end users so that we do away with this unforseen circumstances that took place here,” the Minister assured.

 

Speaking while receiving the Minister and the deputy governor of Ogun State in his company premises, the Managing Director of Gasco Marine, Mr. Segun Ogunwunmi described the gas explosion as unfortunate, as the company, over the last five years since it commenced operations, has not recorded any incident.

 

He said facilities at the company are topnotch while the drivers are trained by officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, and the premises are checked regularly to ensure complaints with safety standards.

 

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