The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has reiterated its resolve to flush out illegal gas facilities around the country, adding that operators would face stiff penalties.

The DPR North West Zonal Operations Controller, Mr Isa Tafida made this known to newsmen while condoling with victims of Saturday’s gas explosion at Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Speaking on the incident that claimed five lives and left four others with different degrees of injuries, Tafida lamented that the gas retailer operated illegally without even category D license for operators in the zone.

He urged investors, gas plant operators and retailers to obtain the required license, adding that it would ensure safe handling of gas, to avoid similar accidents in the future.

He warned such illegal operators to follow the laid down rules and regulation to ensure safe handling of gas considering its volatility.

Tafida said, “The DPR Kaduna Zone wish to extend its sympathy and condolence to the families of the victims, the government and people of Kaduna state over the unfortunate incident of gas explosion that occurred on Saturday that recorded loss of lives, injuries of various degrees and loss of properties.

“The Department states from the outcome of the preliminary investigations that; the facility is an illegal gas retailing vendor that engages in illegal storage, decanting and sales of LPG (cooking) and acetylene (industrial gases), that the operator of that illegal facilities are unknown to the Department, that the facility is not licensed by DPR.”

Speaking further, he explained that the Department has variously carried out training, monitoring of LPG outlets and warned members of the public not to patronise the illegal operators.

He said, “Gas retailers who do not have category D license for retailing LPG are desperate for money because LPG is a new source of money and the public have started understanding that gas cooking is faster and cleaner but the public need to be aware that it has to be handled with caution.

“Investors should invest in gas business but they should follow the rules and regulation and do it in line with best practices. Last year, we licensed 38 LPG plants in Kaduna state.”

Peace Obi

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