By Grace Alegba
The Society of Energy Administrators (SEA) on Sunday called for the formation of indigenous laws to tackle safety issues in the energy sector.
The president, SEA, Dr Yekeen Adeboye, made the call during his investiture at Ikeja as pioneer president and the maiden induction/inauguration of the Lagos Chapter.
He, however, expressed worries over the neglect of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) standards in the country.
Adeboye linked cases of building collapse, petroleum tanker explosion, cancer, pollution and other avoidable disasters, which occur daily in the country to non adherence to QHSE risk management.
The SEA president said energy played a vital role in the economic and social welfare development of nations because the sector cuts across infrastructure, transportation, power and all spheres of life and must be regulated.
He said the society would partner government and corporate organisations to regulate unsafe practices in various fields jeopardising safety of lives, property and the environment.
“Presently, the QHSE risk management practice varies from one company to the other; there is no standard.
“We have submitted a proposal to Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to develop QHSE Risk Management Plan and policy for Nigeria.
“In a couple of weeks they will set up committees to develop that particular standard.
“And recently we took part in the safety master plan of Lagos that is ongoing, our society submitted a programme which is QHSE Risk Management to change the safety culture of public servants because the public servants do not account for risks,” he said.
Adeboye, a petrochemical engineer and accredited environment management consultant, stressed the need to ensure maintenance plans are factored into projects and implemented for human and environmental safety.
The SEA president noted that several Nigerians were exposed to radiations and emissions from telecommunication facilities that were cancerous due to non accountability in QHSE Risk Management.
He called on governments, professional bodies, the academia, corporate organisations and other groups to collaborate with SEA to make Nigeria safer for all.
The guest lecturer, Prof. Babajide Alao, who was inducted SEA Honorary Fellow, called for urgent localised legislation in the energy sector to ensure Nigeria stoped relying on foreign laws not suitable for the country.
Alao, also, an Acting Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos, said International Oil Companies (IOCs) used laws from their countries while operating in Nigeria due to the country’s obsolete QHSE policies.
Speaking on the topic, “Risk Management in Energy Services Administration: Challenges and Remedies of Non-Accountability of QHSE,” he listed the consequences of non accountability to include regular pipeline vandalism.
He lamented the ignorance and lack of capacity of illiterate petroleum tanker drivers, who cause explosions due to non accountability, use of outdated equipment, facilities and systems.
Alao said SEA should “be encouraged because there are too many charlatans” in the oil and gas industry constituting risk ignorantly to the larger Nigerian population.
He listed other problems of non adherence to QHSE standards in various sectors of the nation’s operations and proffered solutions while urging the society to intensify awareness campaigns to correct the bad situation.
Alao called for “strengthening regulations and instituting court cases, punitive damages and compensation pay-outs as a result of non compliance” as well as introducing QHSE into the curriculum of tertiary institutions.
Mr Oluwaseun Olukoya, was inducted Lagos State Coordinator for the SEA, while the Director General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Oke Osanyitolu, Mrs Funmilade Akingbagbohun, Deputy National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers and 10 others were inducted honorary fellows.
Other inductees included 17 fellows, 21 associate members and 11 industry giants, including the Dangote Group as corporate members alongside new SEA Board of Trustees (BOT) members. (NAN)