New information says that Nigerian homes may start experiencing explosions in their kitchens soon. This will be caused, according to a cooking gas advocate, by fake cylinders which are said to have pervaded the Nigerian gas cylinder market.
According to available reports, there is already an influx of fake and sub-standard Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders into Nigeria with N38 million worth of cooking gas cylinders impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service in the latest clampdown on importers of fake cylinders.
Director-General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr Osita Aboloma, on August 1 announced that hundreds of imported cylinders were impounded for failing to meet safety requirements.
Analysts say that N38 million is capable of bringing up to 1.8 million cylinders into the country. According to them, less than one million homes currently use LPG for their cooking in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation.
The Federal Government has recently launched a campaign to ensure that up to 13.8 million households adopt LPG for their cooking in the next five years.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday, a former National Coordinator of the Women in LPG group, Mrs Nkechi Obi, expressed worry on the consequences of Nigerian homes contending with rampant cylinder explosions in their kitchens.
She warned that such explosions would be unavoidable as long as fake and sub-standard cylinders continued to be imported massively into Nigeria.
According to her, unrestricted importation of fake cylinders is a real and present danger because “it is like bringing explosives into homes, which can be deadly.
“More so, importing cylinders is harmful to the Nigerian economy and goes contrary to the quest by the nation to become self-reliant because cylinders are now manufactured here.
“Using fake cylinders also poses severe danger to our womenfolk, who face daily risk of death or injury in the event of explosion of fake cylinders in their kitchens.’’
Obi, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Techno Oil Group, argued that there was need for government to come hard on countries dumping fake cylinders in Nigeria.
According to her, market report shows that the TechnoGas brand of cylinders, manufactured in Nigeria command more acceptance and better quality, compared with cylinders imported into Nigeria, especially from China.
Obi, a long-time advocate of LPG adoption, lamented that continued importation of cylinders had been hurting Nigerian industrialists, engaged in cylinder manufacturing.
She stressed the need for customs, SON and the Department of Petroleum Resources to raise the stakes to discourage low-grade cylinders from entering Nigeria, to “save our lives’’.