By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
The lawmaker representing Etinan state constituency in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Dennis Akpan has sought the regulation of the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, (LPG) popularly known as cooking gas, in residential and densely populated areas in the state.
Akpan moved the motion on the matter during yesterday plenary entitled, “Proliferation of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) sales outlets within residential areas in Akwa Ibom State; A ticking time bomb waiting to explode”
According to Akpan, regulation of cooking gas outlets within residential areas would go a long way to curb the incidence of an explosion, stressing that there was also ensure that all gas outlets within the state meet all safety criteria and are duly certified by relevant agencies.
He recalled recent incidences of fire outbreak in Iwuokpom in Ibeno and Sabon Tasha area Kaduna State, stressing that “Inasmuch as the Liquefied Petroleum Gas is an essential commodity used for cooking, it is highly inflammable and requires extra precaution in its handling, storage and usage.
“Many retail outlets have spring up in the state, mostly in residential areas, and even on roadsides by these gas vendors. It is not only crude but dangerous and capable of causing gas explosions that lead to the loss of lives and properties”
Akpan in his motion equally prayed that the State Ministry of Environment & Petroleum Resources, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency (AKSEPWMA) to ensure the enforcement of relevant extant laws relating to the establishment and location of these LPG vending outlets/facilities.
“Proper checks should be made to ensure these outlets are duly licensed and locations certified by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Fire Services and other relevant agencies”, he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the state assembly Mr. Aniekan Bassey, during the plenary announced minor changes in the leadership of some Standing Committees.
In the new arrangement, the House Committee on Science and Technology which had the Speaker himself as the Interim Chairman is now headed by the member representing Ini State Constituency and Chief Whip of the House, Emmanuel Ekpeyong.
Also, the Committee on Petroleum Matters is now chaired by the Mfon Idung of Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency, while Effiong Johnson (APC) of Mbo state constituency, is now Chairman, House Committee on Boundary and Conflict Resolution, formerly headed by Emmanuel Ekpenyong of Ini state constituency.
The Speaker explained that however, Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Members of all other Special and Standing Committees of the House as earlier constituted, remain the same till further notice, noting that the re-adjustments were to ensure effective service delivery in the 7th Assembly.