FG to compensate victims of gas explosion in Ogun – Minister

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By Yetunde Fatungase
The Federal Government says families of those who lost their lives in Saturday’s gas explosion at Ita-Oshin in Abeokuta, Ogun, will be compensated.

It also said that those who lost properties and others receiving treatment in the hospital would be compensated.

The Minister of State for Petroleum (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, made this known during an on-the-spot assessment of the situation on Wednesday in Abeokuta.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) laden truck had lost control due to a brake failure and rammed into the road barricade thereby causing an explosion which resulted in the loss of lives and property in the area.

Ekpo described the incident as regrettable saying the lives of every citizen is important.

He noted that effective standards must be maintained to avert any future disasters that might be connected to gas.

The minister, who was in the company of the Deputy Governor of Ogun, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, noted that anything below proper standard would not be tolerated.

According to him, it has become expedient to ensure standard before asking citizens to install the CNG in their vehicles.

He called on CNG companies to involve the regulators like the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) so as to ensure that whatever is used in all vehicles meet the necessary standards.

“What we’re emphasising on is maintaining standard; anything that falls below that will not be appreciated.

“We noticed cracks in the cylinders when we visited the junkyard and this may be because it wasn’t up to standard thereby causing a friction forcing it open.

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“If this is not checked and we call our people to install it in their vehicles without ascertaining the standard, it’ll pose more danger.

“This is a wake up call to you and to us that we should rise up to the challenge of the day and involve regulators to make sure we stick to standards so that we don’t have a recurrence of this.

“We thank God that the cylinder didn’t explode; it would have been a different story.”

Ekpo thanked the state government for promptly providing adequate response when the accident occurred.

Also on ground was Mr Farouk Ahmed, the Authority Chief Executive of the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA, who expressed concern about the incident.

He noted that though the incident was regrettable but “luckily it was not too drastic”.

“We have training programmes for drivers of these vehicles including trucks and we are going to insist that they must be certified before they carry this kind of tasks,” Ahmed said.

Speaking earlier, the deputy governor said it was imperative to ensure that safety is not compromised to avert future accidents.

According to her, the government will ensure that the people do not have a bad impression about the usage of CNG. (NAN) (nannews.com.ng)
Edited by Folasade Adeniran

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