From Charles Nwaoguji and Tony John, Port Harcourt
Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has carried out sensitization campaign to educate members of the public on the danger of exhibiting ignorance on the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) tanks and vessels.
The Director General/Chief Executive, SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma stated this yesterday, at the general sensitization on the agency’s ‘Certification of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Tanks and Vessels’ held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Aboloma, who spoke through the Regional Coordinator of SON, Sale Babaji, said it was important to carry out the enlightenment campaign because members of the public seem to have not known the dangers in using gas tanks at homes.
He said: “We have to sensitize the people about the standard of Liquefied Petroleum Gas tank and vessel. These are areas where nobody cares about what they are doing.
“ We use it on daily basis. But, we do not care to know the components. We don’t care to know the danger involved and the advantages, and how to protect ourselves from danger. “So, SON feels it is a duty, as part of our mandate to meet our stakeholders and sensitize members of the public. It is a sort of capacity building,” Aboloma explained.
He disclosed that the Act that established agency empowers it to carry out enforcement on any company operating and producing any substandard items.
“The Act has given us too much power. But, we don’t start with arrest. We start with sensitizing the people because, when people do not know, you look stupid, if you are there to enforce”.
He advised: “We (referring to LPG dealers) should know what we are doing. We should not be surcharging our customers. We should do it rightly. That is what is required”.
In his presentation, the Coordinator, Rivers/Bayelsa State, SON, Engr. Ololade Ayoola, said SON certified LPG as more hygiene to be used at home, describing it is the fastest combustible energy.
According to him, every certification must have met 100 percent of all the requirements, adding that the consequences of not having certified LPG storage could be very disastrous.
“It is very important to operate within the ambit of the law to ensure we forestall disasters”, he declared.
He advised members of the public to ensure that the LPG tank is not close to any object that could cause spark and warned against buying uncertified tanks, adding that it is advisable keeping them outside far from the cylinder.
Also, the Rivers/Bayelsa State Coordinator advised that there should be regular checks on the cylinder, adding that LPG tanks and vessels should be kept metres away and from other highly inflammable substances.
Other stakeholders at the meeting like National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESDRA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Federal Fire Service, called for synergy in order the protect the environment and save lives.