The Department of Petroleum Resources has disclosed that the clampdown on illegal gas plants in Ogun State was to prevent the recurrence of the gas explosion that occurred in Kaduna State.
The Head of Operations, DPR Abeokuta Field- Kasali Adunola, said no fewer than 12 illegal gas plants had been shut in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.
There was an explosion at a gas refill station at Sabon Tasha in Kaduna that killed six persons including a professor.
Adunola said the exercise to relocate all gas refill stations located within residential areas in the state to industrial areas, would continue with a view to stopping avoidable gas explosion accidents in the state.
The head of operations led the task force to clamp down on the illegal gas plants for breaching safety standards.
It was observed that most of the plants were cited in filling stations, besides schools and around residential areas.
Speaking after the exercise, Adunola described the proliferation of illegal gas plants in some parts of the state as worrisome.
He said the DPR in the state would not leave any stone unturned in its bid to ensure that safety standards were maintained in the gas refill business.
According to him, arrangements have been made with security operatives to arrest and prosecute violators of the law guiding the establishment of gas plants.
He said, “We have been doing this exercise before now, but it will not be out of place to say that the Kaduna experience inspired this exercise.
“Proliferation of illegal gas plants has reached a worrisome state. Most of them are not only illegal, they do not even meet safety guidelines on the establishment of gas plants.”
While sounding a note of warning to other operators of illegal gas plants in the state, Adunola said the exercise would be a continuous one.
He said, “What we intend to do for the people that contravene the laws is that we have put in place a plan to collaborate with security operatives.
“We have a timetable to cover other parts of the state. We are not saying they should not do their business, but they must be ready to follow the procedure for the safety of the people.
“We don’t want what happened in Kaduna State where about six people, including a professor, lost their lives to a gas explosion, to happen here.”