The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has appealed to the Lagos State Government to re-open one of the LPG marketing companies, Second Coming Gas plant, after its prolonged closure.
The Executive Secretary of the association, Mr Bassey Essien, expressed the group’s concern over the closure of the plan and urged the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to intervene by calling the ministry or agency that closed the plant to justify why it should be subjected to such a prolonged operational crisis.
According to the association, the affected company has been operating in that same location for over 20 years without any mishap and that at the end of the conclusion of investigations, the company was granted approval to commence reconstruction and renovation of the burnt plant.
The group stated that this renovation of the burnt plant was carried out in strict compliance on standards and further safety measures while each level of work was monitored and approved by the relevant government appointed panel/body.
The association clarified: “The management of the plant had complied with all standard safety requirements given to it and as at today; it ranks among the most safety compliant gas plant in the country. However, 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/ministry in the same state and has remained locked for 9 months now.”
Essien pointed out that if investors in the LPG sub-sector of the downstream oil and gas sector continued to face sanctions that make it difficult for them to survive, then the recent progress made in the LPG market may be seriously jeopardized and drive away potential investors.
He maintained that it was the concerted efforts of indigenous entrepreneurs through huge investments in the LPG value-chains that had led to the remarkable growth in LPG consumption from about 70,000 metric tons in 2007 to about 840,000 metric tons currently
The group stated: “The Federal Government is encouraging LPG expansion to a target consumption of 5 million MT by year 2030, and to achieve this feat means more cooking gas plants springing up both in the urban and rural communities while massive awareness is being created in the usage and safe handling of gas and its accessories.”
It would be recalled that early this year, the Second Coming Gas plant located in Magodo, experienced fire incident leaving two persons dead and serious damage to the plant.
Investigation panel and inquest set up by both the Federal and State Governments’ regulatory agencies did not however indict the company for negligence.