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NISCN, IHRC Convey 1st Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting On Dangers Of LPGs In Residential Areas



By Fidelis Onakpoma

Ahead of the implementation of ‘Project Safety’, a global safety action against illegal gas proliferations, the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) and International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) in Nigeria, alongside stakeholders in industrial safety comprising of the Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Emergency Management Agency of Nigeria, (NEMA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) held their first Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting at IHRC Central Office, Abuja.

Highlighting the dangers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise known as cooking gas plants within residential areas, while seeking best practices that ensure safety standards are applied to everyone installing or operating gas technologies in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMENV), and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) were also present for the said meeting.

IHRC’s Ambassador at Large and Head of Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador Dr. Duru Hezekiah in his opening remark, decried the devastating consequences of gas explosions, saying IHRC was deeply concerned about the existence of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities in residential areas and the potential dangers they pose to the lives and properties of citizens.

He noted that Project Safety is a collaborative effort between the National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) and the International Human Rights Commission in Nigeria, formed to harness national and international efforts and partnerships aimed at providing appropriate actions through implementable strategies in addressing the increasing issue of the existence of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) facilities in residential areas and the dangers it portends to the lives and properties of citizens.

“We aim to carry awareness on international safety measures making it possible for gas operators and users to adhere to regulations. We firmly believe that safety standards must apply to every individual or organization involved in the installation, alteration, maintenance, or operation of gas technologies in Nigeria.

“The IHRC, a Transnational Intergovernmental Organization headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, is committed to promoting peace negotiation and humanitarian aid. With extensive experience in conflict resolution and disaster management, we operate on three continents and work closely with state authorities to restore human rights and address humanitarian crises”, he added.

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Given the mandate of NISCN to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of Nigerians and to reduce the chances of accidents, he maintained that the Project will uphold the fundamental rights to life by ensuring safety measures and reducing avoidable death rates associated with gas plants in residential areas.

“We recognize that the existence of LPG facilities in residential areas and the significant risks it poses to the well-being of our communities violates fundamental human rights and national environmental guidelines, therefore, we want to hold those who neglect safety measures and endanger the lives of our citizens accountable.

“As Stakeholders, we will leverage on our partnerships by creating awareness, implementing enforceable regulations that can help in reducing risks posed by these facilities and protect the rights to life of citizens in our communities”, Dr. Duru hinted.

While responding in a keynote address by the NISCN National President, Dr. Festus Daniel, ably represented by Omoba Adeyinka Oyediran, commended IHRC’s contribution to Project Safety, assuring the stakeholders of NISCN’s commitment to the quest to any cause that would guarantee industrial safety, stressing that the alarming consequences that have emerged due to the establishment and operation of gas plants near where people live cannot be ignored.

He said, “For safety and emergency response, we will bolster our emergency response systems to effectively address any incidents or accidents that may occur in the vicinity of gas plants. Training programs, regular drills, and the deployment of advanced technology will be implemented to enhance our response capabilities. The safety of our citizens is non-negotiable, and we will leave no stone unturned in protecting their lives”.

He maintained that with the best ideas, the right tools, and everyone showing up to redefine what’s possible, no safety challenge will be too big for us to overcome, from the workplace to any place”.

“However, let us stand united in our commitment to curtail the endangering and human rights violations associated with gas plants in residential areas, as the issue requires the collaboration and determination of government agencies, private sector stakeholders, civil society organizations, and every citizen”, he summed up.

Stakeholders at the Consultative meeting were Representatives of SON; Engr. Yahaya Bukur,
Representative of the Inspector General of Police; CSP Omar John Sini-Head of Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering, Representative of NEMA; Atabo Daniel, Representative of FRSC; Aturu Augustine.

Others included Representative of FMENV; Sani Mohammed Rabiu, Representative of Ministry of Petroleum Resources; Engr. Omole Jude Ejere, Representative of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI); Engr. Mohammed I., Representative of the Nigeria Red Cross Society; Gbubemi Uba and the Representative of the Federal Ministry of Health Abuja; Zuwaira Suleiman.


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