James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Ogun State on Tuesday disclosed that it closed down no fewer than 250 illegal gas plants in the State in 2019.
The Operations Controller, DPR, Abeokuta Field Office, Mrs M. Bello-Zagi, made this known in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital at its 2nd Annual General Meeting.
She said, in 2019 alone, we have been able to close down about 250 illegal gas plants in Ogun State.
” Although, we have embarked on several awareness programmes to educate the people and stakeholders on the need to do things in a proper way and as well follow laid down guidelines of doing business”.
“We have been engaging them and we would continue to engage them. Our vision is to regularise and standardize the operation of those illegal facilities, we are committed to that”.
Bello-Zagi said, “The DPR in Abeokuta is currently mapping gas facilities in her area of operations. The aim of the exercise was to map the geographical spread, facilities concentration, conduct proximity analysis, ensure safely and as well guide future approval base on the listed elements “.
” The mapping of gas facilities has demonstrated the capacity of technology to monitor and evaluate DPR procedures, enhance surveillance and enforcements “.
She emphasized that the mapping was able to confirm that about 70% of gas facilities in Ado Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun State are illegal, with most of these facilities being skids.
” It was also observed that certain roads have an average of ten gas facilities in over a stretch of 5-10 kilometres”, positing that the mapping will enhance decision making and will be used in the issuance of new approvals”.
“She added that “the mapping will also serve as useful advocacy tool for the department to engage stakeholders and other relevant agencies in terms of provision of facilities, business opportunities and tax collection”.
She complained that, “there was already proliferation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas plants in some local government areas within the state, while other local government areas have few plants”.
Mrs Bello-Zagi said the DPR has observed encroachment on gas pipelines right of way in some areas in the state, directing all gas pipeline facility owners to clear their pipeline’s right of way.
She added that the DPR has sanctioned some facilities for encroaching on gas pipelines right of way in the State.
“We in DPR we are committed to that. As a regulatory body, we also meant to serve as a catalyst for business and investment opportunities”.
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Speaking on federal government’s campaign on the use of gas by every household in the country, Bello-Zagi said “government will like to eliminate the use of firewood. ” As you all know, use of firewood is giving hazardous causes that affect the atmosphere. Government intention was to reduce the the effect of climate change to the barest minimum or even eliminate it”.
“The increase in the use of LPG will reduce the use of firewood and kerosene. This will result in a greener and healthy environment”.
She affirmed that, “some of the vehicles we use in DPR are based on natural gas. And I can tell you that it is about 50 per cent cost effective than running petrol. It is safer and we have gas in abundance in Nigeria. That is why in DPR, we have been sensitising the public and encourage the public on the use of gas in their homes, industries, schools and medical sectors”.
In his goodwill message, the Public Relations Officer of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers in Ogun State, Mr. Grillo Elkanah Oluwaseun hinted that fake gas cylinder are in Nigerian market, appealing to Standard Organization of Nigeria to be alive to its responsibility of getting rid of Nigerian market of substandard gas cylinders before it begins to cause havoc.