Category: Media

In a bid to curb the spate of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder explosions that have rocked homes in Nigeria recently, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) will collaborate with gas plant owners to re-certify gas cylinders.

The exercise is to ensure that a cylinder is not used beyond its expiration date.

This is coming as the Agency destroyed over 5,000 substandard LPG cylinders at the organisation’s warehouse in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos. The destroyed cylinders which were in sizes of 50kg, 12.5kg, 6kg and 3kg and had branded names such as Anadolugaz, Royaltek, Setro, Repsol and Safic, included brand new and used products.

Speaking to newsmen during the exercise, the Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma Esq. disclosed that the substandard cylinders were seized at different times during during the first quarter of 2019.

Represented by Engr. Obiora Manafa, Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Aboloma said that some of the brand new cylinders failed the agency’s mandatory test while others were not manufactured to the specifications in the Nigeria Industrial Standard NIS 69:2013 for LPG Steel Cylinders.

According to him the used LPG cylinders are contraband as they are not allowed to be imported from outside Nigeria, while brand new products must only be imported with due authorisation from SON after necessary application and procedures.

He described the seized products as threats to safety of lives and properties of Nigerians and a drain on the economy having been paid for in hard earned foreign exchange.

Giving an insight into the re-qualification exercise, Manafa said the only way it can work is to give plant owners the power to seize expired cylinders brought by customers to be refilled.

“If any consumer takes a cylinder to a filling plant to refill and the plant owner checks the cylinder and it is due for requalification, the plant owners should be given powers to seize the cylinder. These are some of the things we are working with other stakeholders in the industry to address,” he said.

On the method of destruction, he stated, “We are cutting them for recycling by steel plants because we cannot burn them,”.

Also speaking during the destruction, SON Group Head, LPG, Engr. Nwaoma Olujie explained that the seized brand new 12.5kg cylinders were produced out of specification as camping gas which poses grave danger to users given the volume of LPG that will be exposed to direct heat during usage.

According to her, the maximum size of an LPG cylinder allowed for use as camping gas is 6.25kg. “It is a time bomb” She said.

The SON Director General advised importers of LPG cylinders to always follow the procedures set up by SON for the importation of the product into the country and disclosed that the perpetrators of the substandard and life endangering cylinders are already facing prosecution.

He also urged Nigerians to purchase only cylinders with SON registration marks, avoid buying camping gas cylinders order than those specified as such by the standard in order to safeguard their homes from avoidable fire incidents from substandard cylinders.

Source: Marine&Petroleum Nigeria

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The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has asked the Federal Government to put in place a regulation on filling and retailing of industrial gases.

Executive Secretary of the association, Bassey Essien, gave the charge in a statement on Tuesday.

Essien, who said that just as the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) monitors and regulates LPG filling plants, the same should be extended to other inflammable products like acetylene and other industrial gases, warned that filling and retailing of industrial gases have to be strictly monitored.

“Regulators should beam attention on the activities of practitioners dealing in acetylene and other industrial gases so as to check these recurrent incidences. Failure to do this and the frequent misrepresentation in the media attributing acetylene explosions to cooking gas will erode consumers’ confidence in the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and heighten the fear factor that cooking gas usage is unsafe,” he said.

In a related development, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it will prosecute importers, manufacturers and distributors of substandard Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders and other products as provided by law.

The Director General (DG) SON, Osita Aboloma gave the warning on Tuesday during a visit the scene of Gas explosion at Sabo Tasha, Kaduna, in which six people lost their lives.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DG was represented by Engr. Nwaoma Olujie, Group Head LPG at SON. NAN also reports that Aboloma also paid condolence to Kaduna State Government over the sad incident.

“We are determined to ensure diligent prosecution of importers, manufacturers and distributors of substandard LPG cylinders and other products as provided in SON Act No. 14 of 2015,” he said.
Aboloma said the management of SON received the sad news of the gas explosion with deep sorrow, adding that the organisation commiserates with families of the victims as well as the people and government of Kaduna state.

He explained that such avoidable explosion was one too many, noting that, “If only the necessary safety measures and precautions were put in place by the gas vendors, the disaster will not have occurred.

“It is necessary that we once again reiterate our recent warning to dealers and consumers, on the safe use of LPG and other gas cylinders. This repeat warning is in view of recent explosions around the country occasioned by wrong handling of the products.”

The DG urged dealers and consumers to patronise only SON certified LPG and other gas cylinders with the appropriate marking “in order to safeguard our homes, offices and surroundings from avoidable accidents from substandard cylinders.”

“Our officers in 42 offices across the nation have been directed to inspect all LGP plants and ensure the certification or re-certification of all installed vassels as the case may be. The full weight of law shall be brought to bear on any plant and owner who fail to comply with this mandatory requirement of SON Act,” Aboloma added.

He, therefore, warned importers of LGP and other gas cylinders to adhere strictly to SON established procedure for the importation of the product.

He added that dealers and consumers must look out for mandatory embossed marking on all imported LGP cylinders as specified in the Nigeria Industrial Standard.

“Furthermore, for certified locally manufactured LGP cylinders we wish to advise dealers and users to look out for SON Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) logo and numbers in addition to the markings specified for the imported products.”
Aboloma disclosed that the life span of LGP cylinders in Nigeria is 15 years during which the cylinders must be requalified twice every five years.

“SON has put in place a rigorous procedure for the certification of imported and locally manufactured LGP cylinders for use in Nigeria to guarantee safety and durability of the product.”

Source: NAN

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It is no longer news that Nigeria’s four refineries have been sinking in the ocean of official corruption. This was a lingering problem that gave many Nigerians troubling thoughts about the future of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), which is said to be providing 70 per cent of the nation’s source of economic survival.

The corporation has had a number of Group Managing Directors(GMDs), each with a plan to turn around the fortunes of the giant corporation, though most of them left without accomplishing so much, as corruption repeatedly fought back.

There was rampaging fuel scarcity that became almost a recurring decimal every end of the year during Christmas and New Year festivities or Sallah, as the case might be. The new management of the corporation, led by Mele Kolo Kyari assured that such worrisome development would also be tackled with speed.

One thing Nigerians would live to remember was the open declaration by NNPC management, that the revival of these four refineries would finally be a dream come true. This declaration was made recently, during the handing over of baton by outgone GMD of the corporation – Maikanti Baru, to his successor, Mele Kolo Kyari. The new GMD minced no word in not only guaranteeing the revival of the four refineries and backing the emergence of more privately-owned ones but of cleaning the augean stables at the NNPC. This meant he would launch a reform process capable of giving the corporation a good public image, thereby ensuring a radical break from the inglorious past.

Of a truth, the handing over ceremony came with high expectations among stakeholders in the oil and gas sector, as well as the nation’s economic gurus – who witnessed the handing over. Some wanted to hear the outgone Baru’s parting words, while others expected to hear inspiring words from the man taking over.

Dropping the hint on the revival of the nation’s refineries, private sector involvement in the oil and gas business as well as changing the face of the war against corruption at the corporation excited many but ruffled some feathers. Those excited were hoping for a new dawn in the all-important sector. Those whose feathers were ruffled were swallowed by the fear that a ‘no-longer-business-as-usual’ proponent could expose them.

But did the new GMD merely disclose a plan for the revival of the refineries, or provided timelines? What were the related issues he raised in addition? Let us take a second look.

The new NNPC management made bold statements like vowing to repair the four national refineries before the termination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2023.

He also promised to work towards the delivery of the Dangote Refinery in the year 2020.

Another striking pledge by the new management was ensuring that the country achieves its production target of three million barrel per day, while also growing its reserves.

The new perspective of the NNPC management under Kyari was “there will be no corruption where there is no discretion”. Consequently, the new management will join hands with the EFCC in crushing the maggots that found the NNPC a convenient Apple.

Partly as a demonstration of seriousness against corruption, the new GMD openly warned his family members not to collect any gift from anyone on his behalf.

This renewed zeal by the new NNPC management has sent the right signal. Shortly afterwards, the “TAPE” policy was born. The management, led by Kyari brought in TAPE (an acronym for Transparency, Accountability, Promotion and Excellence). According to keen observers of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, the TAPE policy was revolutionary in the history of the corporation.

The question on the lips of those who heard the public declaration of transparent operations of the NNPC was whether the new management could be trusted to deliver on this much-sought-after reform. They wondered how to gauge whether Kyari and the management team could deliver on these promises or not. Some said the plans were too ambitious and they would rather ‘wait and see’.

Well, as we read almost every week in the Nigerian newspapers, listen on radio and watch on television, some bold steps have been taken by the NNPC. The first being the oil and gas industry mafia use of middlemen to create artificial scarcity of petroleum products during the ember months was brought to a successful end. For instance, the 2019 Christmas and New Year festivities were free of fuel scarcity problem. There was also no fuel price hike.

Before then, Nigeria’s partnership with Russia on oil and gas was relatively unknown until recently when the two nations signed a new MoU to extend the tentacles of the business a notch further. The elaborate ceremony for the new-look partnership drew Nigerians attention (some for the first time) to the huge economic benefits of the Nigeria-Russia pact on the oil and gas sectors.

Only recently, I read the news about Aliko Dangote’s new refinery equipment arriving the nation’s shores, which signposts how close Nigeria has come to bringing private investors into this sector.

Looking at the successes recorded by means of nipping in the bud the artificial scarcity of Petroleum products, attacking corruption, the emergence of Dangote Refinery(which has reportedly reached advanced stage); the transparency philosophy that gave birth to TAPE; landmark efforts in tackling pipeline vandalization; launching of new phases of gas projects among others, the NNPC is fast transforming .

There is the African proverb, especially in the North – that “a good Friday begins with a promising Wednesday”. It means from the small beginnings, the new NNPC management under Kyari is set for big things for the corporation in particular and the nation in general.

Imagine the open governance strategy of the New NNPC management, in which every month the corporation tells the whole world what it has done in thirty done in 30 days. This is indeed a classical example of transparency. This exemplary ‘openness’ policy is today the biggest difference between the NNPC and all other Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) under President Buhari’s Next Level era.

One could only hope the current momentum is sustained by the new management; and sky would be the limit for an unprecedented economic tonic for this nation.

Source: TheReportersNews

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