The proliferation of the sale of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) by unlicensed persons was one of the highlights of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the issue is one that requires synergy to curtail.
The DPR as a regulatory agency has intensified efforts to clamp down on unlicensed marketers because of the danger they pose to themselves and the environment as a whole.
Since these set of people are not trained in the business, and considering the high volatility of the gas, DPR said they were not qualified to market the product because of the danger involved.
However, these illegal business men are still in existence because the plant operators sell to them in a bid to maximise profit and also not to lose them as customers.
Meanwhile, the arguments of some of the unlicensed marketers are based on the fact that they can do the business even though they are not trained as alleged by the DPR officials. They also argue that the process of acquiring the license is too cumbersome and expensive; hence most of them cannot lay their hands on it.
From findings, some of the unlicensed marketers believe that some of the rules guiding the sale of LPG is not favourable to their businesses and nobody should tell them how to run it.
However, DPR has asked the various associations in the industry to help in the fight against illegal marketers to see that they are either trained to handle the product or have their businesses clamped down to avoid the foreseeable danger.
If this persists, it does not portend a healthy environment for stakeholders in the industry as licensed operators will feel that they are being short-changed.
The question is why would some people want to operate without licenses? Why would they want to pose danger to themselves and the environment?
On the other hand, the regulatory agency should soft pedal on the modalities of registering marketers as well as bringing down the cost of acquiring the licenses.
In addition, DPR should be ready to organise trainings, workshops and seminars through the associations for both the licensed and unlicensed marketers so that the latter will have the opportunity of qualifying for license.