….Tasks LASEPA on Enforcement of Relevant Laws
By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
Following the incessant gas explosion in Lagos State, the State’s House of Assembly has called for proper regulations and monitoring of gas sales in the state, calling on the state Commissioners for the Environment and Water Resources as well as the General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to enforce the necessary laws on the issue.
The House made the resolutions after a motion moved by a member of the Assembly, Hon. Lukman Olumo, representing Ajeromi/Ifelodun Constituency 1 during plenary on Monday.
Olumo, in his motion stated that it was important to regulate sales of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in residential areas in the state to curb incessant of gas explosion in the state.
“The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources should ensure that licenses are given to the sellers of gas in the state. The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) should give approval on the location of gas stations.
“The government should ensure that the cylinders imported into the country conform with the right standard,” he said.
The House also called on the Commissioner for Information to embark on aggressive sensitization programme on the indiscriminate proliferation of gas sales outlets in the state, use of mobile phones and handling of gas cylinders.
The motion was seconded by Hon. Noheem Adams before it was later supported by all the members in attendance after a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who stood in for the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.
In his contribution, Hon. David Setonji (Badagry 2) said that his community had been a victim of gas explosion in the past.
Setonji, however, said that the sales of gas should be regulated, and that it could not be banned outrightly.
He added that about five or six people died during the explosion in Badagry and that government must do something about it, adding that the explosion is usually caused by high temperature.
Also, Hon. Olayiwola Sobur (Mushin 2) emphasised that LASEPA must do something urgently about the matter, and that there are existing legal framework on the issue.
This was corroborated by Hon. Tunde Braimoh (Kosofe 2), who called for sensitization of residents of the state on the need to be cautious about usage of gas in their homes.
In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, stated that the regulation and monitoring of the sales of gas would help to reduce the incessant explosion of gas within residential areas, while supporting the resolutions of the House.
Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo1) urged LASEPA to do their work as expected, adding that there is need to expand the necessary sections in the law to cater for things that were not envisaged in the past.
In his view, Hon. Ganiyu Okanlawon Sanni (Kosofe 1) emphasized on the causes and the symptoms of the explosion, adding that the sector requires education and skill.
“The players and actors must have enough education to do the business. We also need gas detection devices in our gas plants and sales outlets.
“The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development must do something about our physical planning in the state. People just open shops everywhere, so the ministry should be watchful.
“There should be mandatory provision of gas detection devices. LASEPA should put up education programme to enlighten the players in the sector,” he said.
Hon. Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2) advised that government should prohibit sales of gas in residential areas to avoid disaster.
The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade said that there should be enforcement of the laws of the state and enlightenment of members of the public on the matter.
“When the temperature is harsh it could cause an explosion of the cylinder if the storage is not properly done.
“We have seen lapses on the enforcement of laws. There must be physical presence of the regulatory agencies on the location of gas stores.
“Some of the locations were approved without the officers visiting the areas.
“We should be more vigilant and proactive to use the laws we have made. It is important for SON to regulate the cylinders to check the quality,” he said.
The Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Rotimi Abiru, stated that everything had to do with regulations and that there are different kinds of gases including domestic and industrial gas.