The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that most cylinders in circulation are either old, expired and substandard, warning consumers against continued utilisation.
Indeed, the standards body added that some LPG cylinders in circulation were fabricated locally without requisite quality control checks.
The Director-General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, at a workshop in Lagos, said it was as a result of this discovery that the agency is deepening its partnership with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Agency (NMDPRA) and other regulatory agencies to raise the level of awareness of expiration date and requalification markings on LPG cylinders.
According to him, oil and gas is an area where the standards are crucial, emphasising the need for stakeholders in the industry to adhere strictly to standards to prevent avoidable destruction of lives and property.
In his words, “We have, over the years, collaborated with the industry. We are looking forward to cooperating with the NMDPRA because there are so many areas of collaboration where we could partner such as certification of vessels, checking of the quality of diesel, petroleum products, and checking meters to dispense accurately”.
“These are all areas where we used to work together before and ordinarily before a vessel can carry products, they had to get certification from SON to ensure that their integrity is up to standards. We are all aware of how vehicles explode and could destroy over 100 lives at once.”
He said he is looking forward to working with the new executives of the regulatory bodies of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) on areas where there is overlapping interest to protect the Nigerian consumers.
He restated the agency’s commitment to supporting local industries, saying that it would create employment opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths and wealth creation, stressing that when standards are compromised, it destroys the country’s ability to have functional industries is destroyed.
The Head of LPG, SON, Williams Okpeh, represented by the Principal Standard Engineer, Ayiyi Akinwale, said Nigeria is a leading country with tremendous natural gas reserves, stating that from the latest publication, the current estimate of Nigeria gas reserves is over 120 trillion cubic feet with 50/50 distribution ratio between Associated Gas (AG) and Non-Associated Gas (NAG), but stressed that only a small fraction of this quantity is currently being utilised.
“With huge gas reserves of LPG in the country coupled with population, there are a lot of opportunities for investors in the sub-sector,” he said.
He also said used cylinders should not be imported into the country, saying that LPG cylinders must be identified with the manufacturer’s or importer’s name/logo.
Imported LPG cylinders must have SON registration number for traceability. Locally produced LPG cylinders must have MANCAP numbers for traceability, he said. LPG cylinders are manufactured in 2-piece or 3-piece. All cylinders must have a statement of requalification on them,” he advised. He also lamented over the lack of cylinder test stations in the country “LPG cylinders in circulation are not re-qualified, they are not refurbished and most LPG storage tanks installed are not certified. Most storage tanks imported into the country are old,” he said.