By Udeme Akpan
THE nation’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, consumption has risen to 1,000,000 metric tonnes, MT, from 500,000MT yearly, due mainly to increased demand.
The National President, Nigeria LPG Association, Nuhu Yakubu, said: “The industry has recorded a quantum leap in the number of LPG operators across the entire supply, demand and distribution value chain, occasioned by the continuous growth that has been recorded year on year, leading to current consumption now exceeding the 1,000,000MT mark as of December 2020, with equally bullish projections for 2021.
“Taking advantage of the successes recorded in the sector, with NLPGA’s improved media visibility and promoting value adding causes for the general good of the industry, and specific benefits to members, this ExCo has more than doubled our active membership strength since the last two years, and poised to do even more in the coming months, when we commence the planned nationwide awareness sensitization, wherein more state chapters will be launched.
“We have remained supportive to every member, with an improved sense of belonging. All matters brought to the attention of this ExCo by members have been treated with utmost dispatch, including interface with regulatory authorities, when they have sometimes been reported to have become overbearing on our members.
“We have treated every member’s case with utmost confidentiality when and where the need has so arisen, and we have improved on galvanizing our collective consensus on topical matters arising, and presented our stance on issues to authority with the needed courage and tact which has gained us improved recognition with government MDA’s in Nigeria, as well as with organisations across the international community. “
He also said: “We have maintained a progressive and all welcoming open-door policy, with the hope that all stakeholders will see the reason for the need to forge a common front with one voice, to move the industry forward for the good and benefit of all. We have, to a great extent, managed to quell legacy conflicts in the industry with affiliate associations, largely by remaining focused on progressive agenda.
“This last year has not, however, gone past without some recorded safety-related incidents which, regrettably, involved serious injuries and even some fatalities. Worthy of note, since the last AGM, are those that happened in Baruwa, in Lagos State (October 2020), in Agbor, Delta State (January 22, 2021). Loss of containment from the cross filling of LPG cylinders in Agboju, Lagos (April 13, 2021), and, recently, in Abeokuta though unrelated to LOG (actually verified to be due to refrigerant gas) amongst others.
“In all of these cases, we were able to quickly respond by dispatching our members with safety expertise to the incident sites to gather first-hand information on the causes of each incident, with lessons recorded for future references. We have improved our engagements with the relevant regulatory agencies, including the Standards Orgsnisation of Nigeria, SON, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, in managing reportage of LPG incidents with the correct narrative, and issuing Press releases, as well as formally informing and engaging the regulators for information exchange of our respective findings. Notable is the press release and report of the Abule-Ado inferno that attracted the BBC News media requesting a copy, pursuant to developing a documentary report to further prove the root cause of the explosion.”
According to him: “A detailed report of all incidents recorded and investigated is available with our Safety and Technical Committee for members who may wish to learn more.
“The good news, however, is the readiness to push and administer the LPG Safety Checklist, which was developed through our works at the LPG JWC, being its first deliverable, following many months of research and collective input of our expert membership of the committee. The aim is to promote self-regulatory safety practices across the LPG value chain, with the view to reducing occurrences of avoidable LPG accidents.
“As industry professionals, we will continue to take the prideful role of engaging the stakeholders in order to promote and educate users on the safe use and handling of LPG in the entire value chain. All members are, therefore, implored to key into the safety training courses for plant operators, supervisors, and truck drivers, so that we can reduce drastically the frequency, or perhaps eradicate incidences in our industry as this affect acceptance and switch to LPG that we so desire for this country to attain the growth and development it deserves.”
He also added: “Moreover, amongst our activities for 2021 is our planned nationwide Awareness and Sensitization Campaign exercise, which we hope to kick-off as lockdown and physical gathering in groups are allowed. The plan is to educate LPG users and traders on safe handling of LPG, amongst many other program packages.”