The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has explained that the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, also known as cooking gas, is exempted from the lockdown put in place by both the Federal and Lagos State Governments to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.
NALPGAM made the clarification in a statement issued by Bassey Essien, its Executive Secretary on Wednesday in Lagos.
“For the avoidance of misinterpretation of the directive, NALPGAM had sought for a clarification with the Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Resources on the inclusion of gas plants and retailer outlets as essential services to the people, as a result of the place of Lagos State in the social economical position of the country,” Essien said.
He stated that the fact that people have to stay indoors for two weeks in the first instance, entails that households must cook and eat for the stay-at-home order to be effective.
“While the directive listed petroleum products and petrol stations as essential services, the association needed a clarification on the status of gas filling plants and cooking gas retail outlets as cooking is essential to the survival of households, “Essien added
According to him, the clarification was also sought to avoid the overzealousness of security personnel in enforcing the order.
He said the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources granted the approval that gas plants and cooking gas retailers and their personnel were classified as essential service providers and their product essential in ensuring the sustainability of the people’s continued stay at home to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
He explained that LPG plants are part of the essential services and are thus exempted from the Lockdown and should thus be granted access to the smooth running of their facilities and operations, and also free movement of their personnel from their homes to the facilities.
“However, they must maintain all safety and hygiene measures put in place to curtail the spread of the virus. Their personnel must have their identity cards for ease of identification.”
While the Lagos State Government has been proactive in this regard, he urged other state governors to emulate Lagos State Government and emphasize such clarification within their states.
According to him, a letter has been forwarded by NALPGAM to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum in that regard.
Essien also advised the citizens to support the government in respecting and observing all the precautionary measures put in place to tackle the pandemic.
He also thanked individuals and organisations that have made financial, material donations and offering expert and professional services to contain the spread of the virus.