Senate to investigate Lagos gas tanker explosions, calls for relief materials
The Senate on Wednesday urged regulatory agencies and licensing authorities to review the mode of operation, safety procedures, licensing regimes and mode of transportation of gas in Nigeria.
The Upper Chamber said this is to prevent unwarranted deaths and destruction of properties caused by gas explosions.
The regulatory agencies are the Department of Petroleum Resources, (DPR), State Town Planning Authority, the Fire Service and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
The resolution followed the consideration of a motion on urgent need to investigate recent gas explosions in Lagos by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeolu (APC – Lagos West).
Citing Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rule, the lawmaker noted that on September 24, a massive gas explosion occurred at Cele Bus Stop, Iju-Ishaga in Ifako-Ijaiye LGA, Lagos State.
According to him, the explosion caused serious bodily 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.
He said multi-billion naira properties and businesses of many citizens were destroyed in the explosion.
Adeola lamented another gas explosion occurred on October 10 at Candos Road, Baruwa, Ipaja-Ayoba, in Alimosho LGA when an LPG Tanker in the process of discharging gas at a gas plant exploded from sparks of a running power generator in the plant.
He regretted that 18 lives, including a father and child, were lost with scores sustaining injuries while 25 houses and 16 lock up shops filled with good worth millions of naira gor burnt in the second explosion.
According to him, Tanker Owners Association in Nigeria estimates that over 80% of all articulated vehicles, as the ones involved in this incidents, lack safety protocol requisite to their operations and plying of public roads.
He recalled that there had been similar explosions in the same senatorial district in 2016, 2018 (Abule-Egba), 2019 (Abule – Egba) 2020 (Ijegun), 2020 (Ile-Epo, Oke-Odo) and Abule Ado.
Adeola said Nigerians living and conducting legitimate businesses in the densely populated senatorial district lived in justifiable fear of not only losing their lives or those of loved ones from the frequent disasters but also their properties and investments.
The Senate directed its committees on Petroleum Downstream and Gas Resources to investigate the remote and immediate causes of gas tanker explosions in parts of the country, with a view to preventing a reoccurrence and report back in two weeks.
It also directed National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and 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 Senate after observing a minute silence in honour of innocent Nigerians that lost their lives in the unfortunate national tragedy, resolved to write a condolence letter to the People and Government of Lagos State and Osun States.