Lagos: Worried by the continued influx of fake and sub-standard Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders into Nigeria, a cooking gas advocate has warned that Nigerian homes may be risking deadly explosions, caused by using fake cylinders.
The warning, follows reports that N38 million worth of cooking gas cylinders were impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service a forth night ago.
On Aug. 1, the Director-General of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Mr Osita Aboloma, disclosed that the cylinders were impounded for failing to meet safety requirements.
Analysts calculate that N38 million is capable of bringing up to 1.8 million cylinders into the country, Less than one million homes currently using LPG in Nigeria.
But the Federal Government has since put measures in place to ensure that up to 13.8 million households adopt LPG for their cooking within the next five years.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos today, a former National Coordinator of Women in LPG, Mrs Nkechi Obi, expressed worry on the consequences of importing fake and sub-standard cylinders into the country.
According to her, unrestricted importation of fake cylinders is a real and present danger because it is like bringing deadly explosives into homes in the country.
“More so, such importations is also harmful to the Nigerian economy and goes contrary to the quest by the nation to become self-reliant.’’
“Using fake cylinders also poses severe danger to our womenfolk, who face daily risk of death or injury in the event of the explosion of the fake cylinders,’’ she stated.
Obi, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Techno Oil Group, argued that there was need for government to come hard on countries dumping fake cylinders in Nigeria.
According to her, dumping products that can be manufactured locally has dire consequences for the Nigerian economy.
According to her, latest market reports show that the TechnoGas cylinder brand remains buyers’ preference because the quality of TechnoGas cylinders meets global standards and the product is better than 95 per cent of the substandard cylinders in circulation.
Obi, a long-time advocate of LPG adoption, lamented that continued importation of cylinders had been hurting Nigerian industrialists, engaged in cylinder manufacturing.
She stressed the need for the customs, SON and the Department of Petroleum Resources to raise the stakes to discourage low-grade cylinders from entering Nigeria.
The industrialist lamented that dominance of fake LPG cylinders was discouraging many people from embracing cooking gas, a development she said, was affecting the nation’s LPG penetration drive.
Findings from NAN on the issue revealed that the majority of LPG Cylinders imported from China are not certified by China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ), an agency responsible for product quality and standardization in China. Stakeholders in the Nigerian domestic LPG had suggested to industry regulators in Nigeria to make a certificate of quality and conformity issued by China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) a necessary requirement before import permit can be granted as well as port clearing approvals.
She pointed out that in spite of the fact that Nigeria had more gas than oil, the nation had failed to exploit its gas resources optimally, resulting to more homes still using fire wood and other unviable energy sources.
According to her, Nigeria ought to depend more on LPG for cooking, to secure the environment, rather than destroying the fragile eco-system, in a bid to fetch firewood for cooking.
The Techno Oil executive vice-chairman recommended that government should sustain incentives, including granting tax holidays to cylinder manufacturing companies, to make cylinders affordable and readily available to Nigerian homes.
“A Nigerian company, Techno Oil commenced production of LPG cylinders last February.
“Such initiatives should be supported by government to ensure that the company thrives, to meet the cylinder needs of our country.
“Unrestricted importation of cylinders or any other product that can be manufactured locally does more harm than good to the Nigerian economy,’’ she said.
On June 7, the Techno Oil Group inaugurated a landmark LPG cylinder manufacturing plant at Ajah in Lagos.
The plant, the building of which commenced in 2015, is the largest of its type in West Africa.