PPPRA offers panacea to avert kerosene explosion
Dogara laments loss of lives, property
The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Alhaji Abdulkadir Saidu, yesterday offered panacea to the recurring incidence of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) explosions in the country.
Speaking at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives on the need to arrest the resurgence of kerosene explosions with attendant fatalities, he said the problem would be curtailed if the commodity is made available to the citizenry.
He said the goal would be achieved if oil marketers are placed on the same pedestal with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in accessing foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) required to import the product.
He said that oil marketers who played key role in making the product available could not compete with the NNPC due to the challenge of accessing foreign exchange and credit facility from commercial banks.
Saidu, who said there was need for a level-playing ground for both the oil marketers and the NNPC to operate since the petroleum sector of the economy had been deregulated, stressed the need to fix the refineries to achieve the goal.
He reiterated PPRA’s resolve to perform its regulatory oversight to avert the problem associated with adulteration of kerosene product.
He further stressed the need to encourage the use of gas as an alternative to kerosene since it has been proven to be cleaner, cheaper and environmentally friendly.
Meanwhile, Speaker Yakubu Dogara noted that the investigative hearings wouldn’t have come at a better time than now, adding that it is very pathetic that the DPK has become a scarce commodity and even when available, remains unaffordable for the majority people of the lower class that depend largely on it.
He lamented that the development had forced most households to resort to the use of charcoal, saw-dust and firewood for cooking, which is hazardous to the environment, more especially as it promotes desertification through deforestation.
He noted that the trend is likely to get worse if the Federal Government does not embrace an agenda that adopts a definite clear-cut policy direction on kerosene that would lead to abundance of the product.
He said: “It is also very disheartening the current high incidence of kerosene explosions in various parts of the country. The investigation should also look into possible device of checking scarcity to avoid the possible consequence of adulterating Automotive Turbine Kerosene (ATK) as sometimes done to DPK .