The Nigeria LPG Association (NLPGA) is the umbrella body for all stakeholders in the LPG industry in Nigeria. Our attention has been brought to the unfortunate accident of January 4, 2020 , at Sabon Tashi, Kaduna, Kaduna State and to several communiqués, as well as pronouncements from the Federal Government, State Governments, MDAs, and Regulatory Agencies (specifically the Standards Organiztion of Nigeria (SON) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)) with regards to the accident and the proposed actions on legitimate businesses. We have also been monitoring the situation closely.
First of all, the NLPGA commiserates with the good people of Kaduna State, especially the families of those affected, as well as the residents in and around the site where this accident occurred. The NLPGA joins the State Government to extend condolences to the bereaved and we wish those severely injured a speedy recovery.
Based on several erroneous stories in the media it is pertinent to set matters straight on the nature and immediate root cause(s) of the accident as follows:
- Immediate on-the-site inspection and investigation indicated that the accident was not caused by Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) (a.k.a. cooking gas) but rather by Oxyacetylene (a.k.a. welding gas). There is no similarity whatsoever between the two except that both gases are flammable and are moved in cylinders.
- The source of the accident has been corroborated by the Zonal Officers of the State’s SON, DPR and the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Pronouncements calling for the cessation of cooking gas sales within residential areas therefore seem at variance with the above, especially given that there are multiple properly licensed and safely operated facilities already in Kaduna. It would be tantamount to an injustice to punish law-abiding business owners in one industry for unsafe practices of another, wholly unrelated, industry.
- It would instead be more productive for all arms of Government to align on the urgent need for awareness sensitization, capacity building and improvements in operational safety as promoted by the NLPGA in order to avert similar accidents in future in either industry.
- In November 2019, the NLPGA, through its Safety & Technical Committee, in collaboration with FG’s approved Joint Working Committee (JWC) and supported by the SON and DPR, developed and published a comprehensive Safety Audit Checklist. This document comprises self-assessment and self-auditing guidelines for all industry operators at every stage of the value chain. This document is freely available to stakeholders and the general public for download at nigerialpgas.com/downloads(http://www.nigerialpgas.com/downloads/704962.pdf).
- We strongly urge all stakeholders to access this document and familiarise themselves with it. The NLPGA Secretariat would be happy to take any enquiries on this document via email@example.com; it is our aim that adoption of this document will assist in preventing incidents and accidents of this nature in future.
- LPG is the fastest growing fuel and serves a role in reducing energy poverty and health issues, particularly amongst women. A disturbance to the safe use or availability of LPG is to be discouraged, as it is at direct variance with and may be counter-productive to the actualisation of the FG’s unique agenda to deepen the safe use of LPG in Nigeria.
- Nonetheless, the NLPGA is committed to promoting international best practices in the safe handling of LPG across the entire value chain and seeks to work with State Governments to rid the market off of illegal and unsafe LPG operators. NLPGA already works in close collaboration with several state governments, most notably Lagos State Government through the Physical Planning & Urban Development Ministry and the Lagos State Safety Commission.
- The NLPGA’s Safety & Technical Committee has a robust range of training material and well experienced faculties to continue to sensitise operators and prospective operators alike in order to promote and deepen the safe use of LPG in Nigeria.
- NLPGA commends and will continue to support all government regulatory agencies in their tireless efforts to enforce safety regulations and monitoring activities with a view to further sanitise the industry of those who disregard already established guidelines as provided by the agencies and as well encapsulated in the JWC Safety Audit Checklist available for self-assessment.
- At NLPGA we remain committed to the general acceptability, availability, affordability and accessibility of LPG in Nigeria and its safe utilisation in different sectors of the evolving Nigerian economy.
Nigeria LPGas Association