The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has expressed concern over the prolonged and continuous closure of Second Coming Gas plant Nig. Ltd., by the Lagos State Government.
Mr Bassey Essien, the Executive Secretary of the association said that the gas plant had been closed for about nine months by an agency of the state.
He appealed to the Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for the reopening of the plant in a statement issued and made available to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.
The Second Coming Gas Nig. Ltd., located at Magodo area of Lagos, owned by one of the members of the association early in the year, experienced a fire incidence which recorded two casualties.
He called for urgent intervention of the governor to save the gas plant from indefinite closure, adding that the association’s was worried over the prolonged closure whether it is punitive on the owner and by extension on the association.
According to him, investigation panel and inquest set up by the state and Federal regulatory agencies respectively did not indict the company for negligence as the company had always taken adequate measures to ensure safety at all times.
“It is worthy to note that the company has been operating in that same location for over 20 years without any mishap.
“At the conclusion of investigations, the company was granted approval to commence reconstruction and renovation of the burnt plant albeit with strict compliance on standards.
“And further safety measures while each level of work was been monitored and approved by the relevant government appointed panel,’’ he said.
Essien said that the management of the plant had complied with all standard safety requirements given to it and the company was ranked among the most safety compliant gas plant in the country.
He said that while awaiting the final inspection so as to be given the final nod to reopen for business, the place was unceremoniously locked by another agency in the same state and has remained locked for nine months now.
He said that remarkable progress has been made in cooking gas utilisation and consumption in the country.
The association’s spokesman said that cooking utilization and consumption over the years was usually associated with the elites but now been embraced by food vendors and low income earners.
“This huge achievement has been attributed to private investments by committed indigenous entrepreneurs to establish gas bottling plants across the country.
Essien said that Nigeria was endowed with abundant gas reserves; however utilisation of cooking gas in the country has been abysmally low compared to neighbouring West African countries.
He said further that such countries include like Morocco and Egypt in the North, despite being the largest producer of LPG in the West African sub region and the 3rd in Africa.
“It is the concerted efforts of these indigenous entrepreneurs who have invested massively to erect terminals and gas bottling plants that have led to the growth in consumption from about 70,000 MT in 2007 to about 840,000MT as at 2018.
“The Federal Government is encouraging LPG expansion to a target consumption of five million MT by year 2030,’’ he said.
He said that to achieve this feat means more cooking gas plants springing up both in the urban and rural communities while massive awareness was being created in the usage and safe handling of gas and its accessories.
“Like everything in life, there is always safety precautions that have to be observed and adhered to, be it in daily lifestyles, travels etc,’’ Essien said.