The Society of Energy Administrators (SEA) says the existing laws on safety standard enforcement in Nigeria are obsolete and cannot punish offenders.
Dr Yekeen Adeboye, SEA President, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos that this had led to the neglect of ethical, professional and occupational standards in all industries, including oil and gas.
He attributed the recklessness by various industries, causing avoidable explosions and other disasters to the outdated laws.
According to him, risk management mechanisms are supposed to be incorporated into project designs, facility management and operations of all industries.
Adeboye added that lack of enforceable laws was responsible for the rising spate of avoidable petroleum and gas tanker fires in the country.
He said that energy plays a vital role in the economic and social development of nations because the sector cuts across infrastructure, transportation, power among others and “must be regulated’’.
He said that SEA was inaugurated in Nigeria in May and was already adopting measures to ensure the nation gets a template for enforcement of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) risk management.
SEA, he said, is collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and that the society is proposing some laws to stem the ugly trends of tanker explosions and other industries recklessness and negligence.
Adeboye, a petrochemical engineer and accredited environment management consultant, said the lack of QHSE in project designs and facility management had bedevilled Nigeria with disasters such as building collapse, petroleum tanker explosions, cancer and pollution.
He said that project designers and operators in Nigeria must include maintenance plans into projects for human, equipment and environmental safety to avert disaster.
The SEA chief said that various tanker fires could have been averted with QHSE risk management to ensure the use of technological safety gadgets to prevent gas and petroleum leakages.
Adeboye added that training of tanker drivers on the use of safety gadgets to prevent leaks was also important and was all incorporated in the QHSE.
He said that SEA was also collaborating with federal and state governments as well as various professional bodies to regulate all fields to ensure the safety of lives, property and the environment.
“We don’t have a law now for QHSE risk management in Nigeria.
“It is only the multinational companies that have that policy and the policy they are using is the one they brought from their home countries.
“We do not have local laws and that is why we have to submit that proposal to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to develop QHSE risk management plan for all the service managers in Nigeria.
“Once the SON establishes the standard for us, then we will take it to the National Assembly to for an enabling law.
“SON has already set up committees to develop the safety standards,’’ he told NAN.
He said that the collaboration with SON was to set up templates for the National Assembly to make laws in the energy sector to ensure Nigeria “stops relying on foreign laws that are not suitable for the us’’.