OrderPaperToday – The Senate on Wednesday resolved to investigate recent gas explosions in Lagos State.
The Senate Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Gas Resources were tasked to carry out the probe with a view to prevent reoccurrence.
The committees are to revert with their findings in two weeks.
The senate’s decision followed a motion moved by the Senator representing Lagos West senatorial district, Adeola Olamilekan, who recounted details of the explosions that led to loss of lives and properties.
He recounted that on September 24, 2020, a gas explosion occurred at Cele Bus Stop, Iju-Ishaga in Ifako-Ijaiye LGA, Lagos State “which caused serious body injuries to no fewer than 44 persons while destroying 36 buildings including a church, an event centre and a plank market as well as destroying 26 vehicles within a radius of 300 metres of the explosion.”
According to him, the explosion is believed to have been caused by the burst tyre igniting a gas leak of a stuck 30 tonne gas tanker attempting to extricate itself from mud totally and in the process destroyed multi-billion naira properties and businesses of many citizens.
On October 10,2020, there was a similar gas explosion at Candos Road, Baruwa, Ipaja-Ayoba, Alimosho LGA when an LPG Tanker in process of discharging gas at a gas plant exploded from sparks of a running power generator in the plant, the senator said.
He stated that second tragic incidence led to the loss of 18 lives while 25 houses and 16 lock-up shops filled with good worth millions of naira were burnt.
The Tanker Owners Association in Nigeria estimates that over 80% of all articulated vehicles as the ones involved in these incidents lack safety protocol requisite to their operations and plying of public roads, he further disclosed.
He listed other explosions in the same senatorial district that occurred happened in 2016, 2018 (Abule-Egba), 2019 (Abule – Egba) 2020 (Ijegun), 2020 (Ile-Epo, Oke-Odo) and Abule Ado.
He expressed worry that Nigerians living in his densely populated senatorial district now live in fear of not only losing their lives or loved ones from these frequent explosive fire disasters but also their properties and investments.
Consequently, the chamber directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to immediately send relief materials to affected victims and offset medical bills of hospitalized victims.
The senators also urged regulatory and licensing authorities like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), State Town Planning Authority, the Fire Service and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to review the modus operandi, safety procedures and licensing regimes of this potentially combustible business and mode of transportation of gas in Nigeria.
A minute silence was observed in honour of Nigerians that lost their lives in the explosions.