SON, operators move to re-qualify used gas cylinders
The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has said that it has commenced talks with filling plant owners and other relevant stakeholders in order to commence the re-qualification of used gas cylinders.
However, the agency stated that the exercise would appear daunting in view of individual ownership of liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) cylinder in the country.
Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, SON, Obiora Manafa, stated that plans are underway to work with stakeholders in the industry to begin a requalification scheme which would put every used cylinder through a requalification exercise to ensure that a cylinder is not used beyond its expiration date.
Identifying some of the challenges likely to be faced by the programme, especially in relation to the replacement of cylinders after withdrawal, he stated that in a country where gas cylinders are owned by individuals, it would be difficult to carry out the scheme as its being done in other countries where cylinders are owned by marketers.
“In Nigeria, cylinders are owned by individuals but owned by marketers in other climes and once the cylinders are due for recertification, it is easy for withdrawal, but difficult to get these cylinders from individuals to do requalification.
“The only way it can work is if any consumer takes a cylinder to a filling plant to refill and the plant owner checks the cylinder and it is due for requalification, the plant owners should be given powers to seize the cylinder. These are some of the things we are working with other stakeholders in the industry to address,” he said.
Manafa added that the life span of a cylinder is 15 years and when using a brand new cylinder, users have to calculate another 15 years for the usage.
“However, unscrupulous importers go outside the country to bring in these cylinders that have been discarded and have been used for over 30 years. These cylinders are not allowed in the Nigerian market because they are dead on arrival and they are not safe for anybody to use, they are expired and weak”, he said.
He advised importers and consumers to always seek advice from SON before purchasing these cylinders while recommending the usage of brand new cylinders certified by SON.
He further urged importers to stick to the specification of the standards, warning that going out of the standards would only see their products seized and destroyed.
An importer, Mary Amos, opined that SON has been embarking on enforcement exercises to rid the country of sub-standard goods.
She noted that many stakeholders in different sectors of the economy including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have called on the present administration to empower more than ever before, the regulatory agency to perform its responsibilities.
The Group Head, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, SON Nwaoma Olujie urged consumers to look out for markings such as date of manufacturing, country of origin and manufacturer’s name for traceability, adding that all the information are embossed on the cylinder. She also urged Nigerians to purchase only cylinders with SON registration marks in order to safeguard their homes from fire incidents caused by substandard cylinders.