The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says it will prosecute importers, manufacturers and distributors of substandard Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders and other products as provided by law.
The Director General (DG) SON, Osita Aboloma, gave the warning on Tuesday during a visit the scene of Gas explosion at Sabo Tasha, Kaduna, in which six people lost their lives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DG was represented by Nwaoma Olujie, Group Head LPG at SON.
NAN also reports that Mr Aboloma also paid condolence to Kaduna State Government over the sad incident.
“We are determined to ensure diligent prosecution of importers, manufacturers and distributors of substandard LPG cylinders and other products as provided in SON Act No. 14 of 2015,” he said.
Mr Aboloma said the management of SON received the sad news of the gas explosion with deep sorrow, adding that the organisation commiserates with families of the victims as well as the people and government of Kaduna state.
He explained that such avoidable explosion was one too many, noting that, “If only the necessary safety measures and precautions were put in place by the gas vendors, the disaster would not have occurred.
“It is necessary that we once again reiterate our recent warning to dealers and consumers, on the safe use of LPG and other gas cylinders.
“This repeat warning is in view of recent explosions around the country occasioned by wrong handling of the products.”
The DG urged dealers and consumers to patronise only SON certified LPG and other gas cylinders with the appropriate marking “in order to safeguard our homes, offices and surroundings from avoidable accidents from substandard cylinders.”
“Our officers in 42 offices across the nation have been directed to inspect all LGP plants and ensure the certification or re-certification of all installed vessels as the case may be.
“The full weight of law shall be brought to bear on any plant and owner who fail to comply with this mandatory requirement of SON Act,” Mr Aboloma added.
He therefore warned importers of LGP and other gas cylinders to adhere strictly to SON established procedure for the importation of the product.
He added that dealers and consumers must look out for mandatory embossed marking on all imported LGP cylinders as specified in the Nigeria Industrial Standard.
“Furthermore, for certified locally manufactured LGP cylinders we wish to advise dealers and users to look out for SON Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) logo and numbers in addition to the markings specified for the imported products.”
Mr Aboloma disclosed that the life span of LGP cylinders in Nigeria is 15 years during which the cylinders must be requalified twice every five years.
“SON has put in place a rigorous procedure for the certification of imported and locally manufactured LGP cylinders for use in Nigeria to guarantee safety and durability of the product.”
He warned all LGP dispensing plants to ensure due certification of their vessels as provided by SON.
The Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who received the SON delegation on behalf of the government, expressed appreciation for commiserating with the state on the sad incident.
Mr Aruwan said the government had given directive to close all retailers refilling gas in residential and high risk areas.
“We have also set up a committee to identify the areas to relocate them for the safety of lives and property.
“Our doors are open for partnership for the benefit of the public,” he said.
The Acting Director of Operations, SON, Dauda Yakubu and other senior officers were among the delegation.