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Explosions: Ekpo tasks distributors to invest in pipelines to deliver gas to consumers

Ita Oshin gas explosion

By Tochukwu Bliss, Abuja

Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, yesterday, tasked distributors of gas to invest in pipelines as a safer way to deliver the product to end-users.

Mr Ekpo, who spoke when he visited the site of the gas explosion at Ita Oshin in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said going forward, rather than trucking, industry regulators will emphasize issuance of distribution licences that will ensure that licensees invest in the installation of pipelines to deliver gas directly to consumers.

He said the shift from trucking to pipeline transportation would not only enhance safety but also improve efficiency and reliability in delivering gas to consumers.

“As the Honourable Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), I am committed to growing the gas space, however I can assure you that every effort is being made to prevent such accidents as this one from occurring in the future,” he was quoted in a statement by his Spokesperson, Louis Ibah.

Recall that the gas explosion led to a loss of life and destruction of property, as a truck conveying CNG, which experienced brake failure, crashed into the road barricade and went up in flames.

On the Minister’s entourage were the Authority Chief Executive (ACE) of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, members of the Minister’s technical team and officials of the NMDPRA.

The Minister was received by Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who thanked him for the visit, stressing the importance of a thorough investigation to unravel the root cause of the accident and implementation of recommendations made to forestall future reoccurrences.

Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, and other officials of the state government had conducted Mr. Ekpo and his team on a tour of the accident site.

The Minister commiserated with families affected by the tragedy and Gasco Marine Ltd., owners of the gas truck. He also commended the swift response of fire service personnel, and first responders, in the aftermath of the gas explosion even as he reiterated his commitment to grow the gas space.

…however I can assure you that every effort is being made to prevent such accidents as this one from occurring in the future.

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