By yunus Yusuf
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Thursday urged retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) (cooking gas), to get license before January 2017.
Mr Etukudo Etim of the gas department, DPR Lagos zonal office, made the appeal at a safety training workshop, organised by the LPG retailers in Lagos.
According to him, the department would clampdown on unlicensed retailers in Lagos and Ogun States as part of measures to enforce the law regulating LPG’s business.
“DPR has begun data collection of sales of LPG by cooking gas retailers as part of efforts to develop a robust data base for the domestic consumption of LPG in the country,’’ Etim said.
He noted that countries like Ghana, Togo and Angola have statistics on the local consumption of LPG but Nigeria was yet to do it.
Etim said that absence of such data makes planning by government difficult.
He solicited for the cooperation of the retailers in order to help the LPG sector move to the next level.
Etim said enforcement of the regulations was necessary considering the rate at which more LPG shops mostly handled by untrained and unlicensed retailers were coming up.
He said the attendant result of the negligence of enforcement of regulations had led to several fire outbreaks.
Etim explained that an operator was expected to get a license for a single outlet at the cost of N5,000, renewable after two years.
“For example, if you operate five shops in different location in Lagos, it is expected that you must have five licenses.
“A license for a shop in Ikorodu is not valid in Surulere, even if the shop operates under the same company name.
“Beyond obtaining the license, each shop is expected to have in place, two fire extinguishers.
“Retailers should also have bucket of sharp sand, well ventilated shop, display of appropriate warning signs and emergency numbers and distance from fire sources,’’ he said.
Mr David Okenwa, the Chairman of LPG’s retailers in Lagos, said the essence of the safety workshop was to acquaint members with basic fire fighting skills in case of any fire incident.
He urged retailers to take advantage of the period between now and January to obtain the DPR license.
Okenwa warned that, after the one month grace period, any member found operating illegally would face the wrath of the law.