By Okunade Adekunle
Due to the frequent occurrence of gas explosion in Lagos state, the lawmakers in the State’s House Of Assembly have initiated moves to investigate the causes of the explosions by directing the Committee On Special Duties to invite concerned stakeholders and agencies with a view to finding a lasting solution to the menace.
The House reached the resolution after the lawmaker representing Alimosho Constituency 1 , Hon. Bisi Yusuff, raised the issue under matter of urgent public importance during an emergency plenary session on Friday.
Recounting the gas explosion incident in Ayobo-Ipaja area, Yusuff explained that it was a bad Thursday for the people of Alimosho after the explosion occurred and not only destroyed properties worth millions of naira but also took lives.
The lawmaker stated that the House during the 8th Assembly came up with a resolution condemning siting gas plants within residential areas but that the resolution was not enforced by the necessary agencies.
Members, while lending their voices condemned a situation whereby gas plants are sited with residential areas, just as they urged the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to desist from approving siting of gas plants within residential areas.
Hon. Ganiyu Okanlawon ( Kosofe )1 explained that the incessant gas explosion was becoming worrisome, advising that the concerned authorities and agencies should carry out proper enforcement of regulations relating to siting of gas plants.
Hon. Kehinde Joseph ( Alimosho 2) described the incident as an unfortunate one, blaming the regulators for not enforcing the enabling and existing laws guiding gas plants location.
Joseph added that explosion was becoming too rampant in Alimosho and as such should be looked into with a view to bringing an end to such occurrence.
In his comments, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) noted that there was no way the state government or the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) would grant approval to any operator to site a gas plant within a residential area.
Yishawu, however, urged the state government to ensure that every gas plant within the state that has no approval is shut down, adding that those operators who have approval should also be monitored from time to time to ensure that they comply with the necessary rules and regulations.
However, the Speaker of the House, Rt (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, commiserated with the people of Alimosho, especially those who who lost loved ones, saying that the House being the people’s representative can no longer fold its arms and continue to allow loss of lives.
Obasa noted that the responsibility of the government is to protect lives in particular, adding that properties could be replaced when destroyed but lives are irreplaceable.
“So it is our duty to protect the lives of our people and how do we go about that? We need to get accurate information as to how these gas plants are being approved and how they are being supervised.
“We need to allow our committee on special duties to look into this and engage the necessary and concerned authorities and operators, so that we can get true pictures and what exactly are responsible for these explosions,” Obasa said.