A member of the House of Representatives representing Ajeromi Ifelodun Federal Constituency, Hon.Kolawole Taiwo, has fingered indiscriminate establishment of gas plants across the nation in residential areas as the major cause of gas fires reported in recent time, urging the government to take a second look at the development.
Taiwo spoke with some newsmen over the weekend while reacting to the recent gas fire which broke out at Ajegunle in Ajeromi-Ifelodun local government on Tuesday 26th of November, when someone made a call close to an unidentified gas retail store,.
According to the lawmaker, as at Saturday five persons have been confirmed dead with many others who sustained various degrees of burns still recuperating in some state health institutions across the state.
The lawmaker said that no amount of succour could be given to the affected constituents if the issue would not be holistically addressed.
He cited the indiscriminate sitting of gas plants in residential areas, instead of industrial areas as the root cause of the sad development.
In his words, “it is good for us that people at the local level are now embracing gas as a cheaper, safer and cleaner means of cooking without spoiling your pots easily.
“As it reduce the unnecessary feeling of trees for cooking which pose much harmful effect on climate change, this also reduces the pressure on kerosene an important fuel for airplane.
“However, gas is highly inflammable and our people demand on it is on the increase, so entrepreneurs now site mini gas plants indiscriminately, across major cosmopolitan cities of Nigeria, which pose grave danger on the locals.
“I had to rush down here when I learnt about the development few days ago through barrage of calls from my constituents and what I saw was heart rendering.
“Five individuals confirmed dead while others burnt beyond recognition, there was even a lady aside the ones reported in the pages of the newspaper, who had all parts of her body affected by the gas fire.”
Hon Kolawole hinted that, “come Tuesday when I get back to the National Assembly, I will meet with Mr Speaker to see how this motion can fly.
“I am raising a matter of national importance for regulation and monitoring of setting up gas plants, we cannot blame the people for embracing gas power.
“I saw a lady, there is no part of her body that was not affected, I became so emotional, another indigent family whose child was affected even told me when I visited the hospital that they had to pay 2000 naira for a particular drug every seven hours.
“It is that pathetic, I urge the Federal Agency in charge of Emergency to intervene in giving respite by spending some money for the rehabilitation and restoration of the victims.
“The economic crunch is biting, it is a terrible situation and I can only cushion the effect, I cannot really touch them as they really wanted, the Federal Government should come to our aid, we are down trodden in Ajeromi, we need help.
He urged landlords to shun the pecuniary gains and consider safety when giving permission for sitting of gas plants in residential areas, noting that even those corporate entities sitting gas plants have it cordoned in restricted areas with enough guard.
Kolawole also lauded the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu promptness in wading in on the matter, “he promised to foot the hospital bills to reduce their trauma, the local government chairman has also been proactive right from the time it happened and I appreciate that as well.
“He even promised to kick start an enlightenment campaign to sensitise the people on the matter and this is also commendable.
“We need to force the establishment of gas plants in industrial areas, then you can have retail points where already filled cylinders can be exchanged with empty ones, not the one where you refill and expose gas to the air,” Kolawole reiterated.
He added that managing emergency is a serious issue, which has to be replicated through the Federal, state and local government as it is in the concurrent and residual list.