Stakeholders mull end to downstream safety challenges
Stakeholders in the downstream petroleum value chain, Wednesday, mulled an end to the growing safety concern in the sector, particularly the reoccurring cases of fire incident from haulage trucks.
To mention a few, in the last one month alone, tanker explosion in Onitsha destroyed over six building and shops, while scores were wounded as some died. Another tragedy was averted days after in the same city as petrol tanker fell, spilling fuel into a canal. Another tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit or petrol on Monday, this week ,caught fire in the Ipaja area of Lagos destroying a car.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in collaboration with other stakeholders in the petroleum industry, however, said a Safe-to-Load initiative has been introduced to mitigate incessant petroleum products tanker accidents and ensuing fire outbreaks across the country.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, said proffering a lasting solution to the challenge is critical, in view of the frequent fire incidents from petroleum tankers with attendant loss of lives and property.Kyari spoke at a meeting at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, championed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Haulage Operations in Nigeria.
“As an organisation founded on operational excellence, NNPC has a safety checklist for loading of petroleum products from its terminals, and is interested in ensuring harmonisation of the Safe-to-Load checklists being used by all terminals across the country,” he said.
Kyari said digitisation of all NNPC analogue-loading facilities has commenced, to ensure that all trucks leaving its depots complied with the required axle limits, adding that the Corporation has kick-started installation of weigh-bridges and sprinklers across all loading gantries to forestall incidents.He said as much as 19.23billion litres of petrol was moved by 583,000 trucks in 2018, while 526,000 trucks transported 17.36 billion litres of PMS between January and October, 2019.
Kyari said NNPC will continue to champion any cause geared towards efficient products distribution for the benefit of all Nigerians.Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who was represented by a staff of the SGF Office, Ademola Ali, said government remained committed to ensuring safe roads for petroleum products distribution in Nigeria.
President, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Kassim Bataiya, solicited the intervention of government in funding the subsector, saying safety on the road is a responsibility of all stakeholders, drivers, law enforcement agencies, among others.
President, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Otunba Oladiti, said fixing the roads should not be the sole responsibility of the government.President of the Nigeria Union of Petrolem and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Akporeha Williams, commended NNPC for always complying with safety standards in all its depots, and restated the union’s commitment to working with the management to ensure the success of the Safe-to-Load initiative.
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