The National Association of Seadogs (NAS), also known as Pyrates Confraternity, has called on the Lagos State Government to review the relevant environmental protection laws that will protect residents against the frequent gas explosions in the metropolis.
The association said it was concerned about the alarming rate of gas explosions in Lagos and other parts of the country which has claimed the lives of several persons and destroyed properties worth billions of naira.
In a statement by the President of the Alimosho branch of the association in Lagos State, otherwise known as Hawkins Deck, Mr Hassan Aidorolo, NAS said the need for the review of the extant environmental laws has become imperative to accommodate the evolving reality in population demands.
It said, “These incessant explosions, which cannot be summarily dismissed as a one-off, has become a recurring decimal, whose multiplier effects had resulted in avoidable loss of lives and properties.
“Most of the unfortunate incidence of explosions and its attendant engulfing infernos have not been unconnected with regulatory failures and lack of compliance monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency, the government and other supporting agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that human and economic activities bear no harmful impact on the environment.
“Review and amendment of Environmental Protection Laws to accommodate an evolving reality in population demands.”
The association said its concerns stemmed from the fact that gas plants are fast becoming sited in residential areas, without safety measures to protect the residents.
Other areas raised include, “Building of houses on gas pipelines. Vandals’ activities on pipelines. Non-adherence to safety precautionary measures by gas truck drivers and gas plant owners and staff, and other inimical activities of humans due to negligence.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need for government and its agencies to step up in their responsibility to protect lives and properties through; proper orientation of truck drivers, gas plant owners, staff and customers on global best practices in Health, Safety and Environment precautionary measures.
“Clear signals at every station where gas are loaded or discharged and on every truck conveying inflammable substances to continually sensitize every stakeholder on what is at stake. Enforcement of Environmental Protection Laws and Health Safety and Environment measures with the punishment of violators to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Reviews of town layout plans to excise buildings infringing areas where gas pipelines are located. Swift response to emergencies for timely salvage of situation.
“Autonomous delegation of power to Local Government Authorities as they are best primed to know in-depth, the challenges faced by their immediate environment and are best attune to combat these challenges.”
They said the government would need to do more in the protection of human lives, properties, and the environment, as this is the first obligation of governance which they are sworn to.