The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has seized a 40-foot container stocked with substandard liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas cylinders worth over N38 million.
The Director-General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the cylinders failed to meet the safety requirements, and as such, pose a threat to human lives and property in the country.He stressed the need to adhere strictly to standards when dealing in LPG cylinders, adding that it was highly dangerous to use cylinders of higher capacities like 12.5kg and above as camping gas where burners are fitted on top of the cylinders.
According to Aboloma, who was represented by the Director, Compliance, SON, Obiora Manafa, cylinders above 6.25kg capacities like 12.5kg shall be fitted with 27mm valves (fitted with safety relief device), and piped to a burner via a hose and a regulator.
In his words, “Having a cooking pot on top of the cylinder as high as 12.5kg stands the risk of tilting over. It is also highly dangerous to subject the high volume of LPG in a high-volume capacity cylinder to heat from the cooker that is directly on top of the cylinder.”He said only 3kg, 5kg and 6.25kg cylinders are used for camping gas and fitted with camping valves, stressing that any cylinder above 6.25kg used for camping shall be seized and destroyed.
The Director-General decried that many avoidable LPG cylinder explosions across the country had led to wanton loss of lives and properties. He admonished those dealing in LPG cylinders and accessories to endeavour to abide strictly by the safety requirements in the relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards, given the potential danger that the substandard cylinders can pose to lives and properties.
He, however, disclosed that efforts have been intensified to subject LPG cylinders to laboratory tests and analysis to confirm their conformity, stressing that if these cylinders fail critical safety parameters on construction, performance, and markings they will be seized and destroyed.
Meanwhile, SON charged local and foreign investors to invest in LPG cylinder plants in the country, coming on the heels of the recent commissioning of an LPG manufacturing plant in Lagos.He said SON is working with relevant sister agencies to achieve five million metric tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial LPG utilisation soon.
Aboloma said SON is in the business to ensure that goods and services produced in Nigeria meet global best standards, while also calling for both local and foreign investments into the sector to bring down the importation of LPG cylinders to the barest minimum.He added that investment in setting up LPG manufacturing plants will not only reduce dependence on imports, but also create job opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.