The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Abuja, raised the alarm about activities of illegal marketers of Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) insisting that the development remains a critical treat to lives and properties and uneconomical to users.
Closing down over 26 illegals shops and arresting 22 traders citing retail outlets illegally in Gwarinpa, Wuse and other locations in Abuja, a management staff of DPR, Abubaka Buba said Nigerians are only endangering and short-changing themselves by patronising illegal retailers.
While urging consumers to only exchange their gas cylinders instead of refilling from one cylinder to another, Buba said illegal marketers are advised to get licensed or regularize their activities.
Noting that the marketers arrested would be handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps (NSCDC) and prosecuted, he said: “Our exercise is not to get them out of the market. Let them come and make their businesses legal. Nigerians should not go to the road side and buy gas. It is not acceptable.”
Buba disclosed that about from the over 35 gas plants located in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), there are legal retail outlets at some fuel stations and other locations that would meet the demand from consumers.
He said the clampdown would be sustained until sanity returned to the market, stressing that impacts of casualties which may occur from illegal LPG plants could be avoided if necessary steps were taken.
FCT Deputy Commandant, NSCDC Felix Ikwuegbu expressed readiness to collaborate with DPR to ensure the prevailing situation is tackled.
“We are working with the DPR to ensure that the FCT get rid of illegal gas operators. We have arrested in the past and ensure that they are arraigned at the Federal High Court,” he said.
Operator of a gas plant, Chris Ikeliana stressed on the need for DPR to ensure that the market is sanitized, adding that the proliferation of illegal retail outlets is dangerous to lives and properties.
“There has been a lot of fire incidents from gas outlets that are not well located. Some are located in wrong places and a little spark, the gas will explode,” Ikeliana said.