By Miriam Humbe
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has destroyed over 5,000 substandard Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders worth about N51.3 million at the organisation’s warehouse in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
The destroyed cylinders, commonly referred to as cooking gas, which were in sizes of 50kg, 12.5kg, 6kg and 3kg and had branded names such as Anadolugaz, Royaltek, Setro, Repsol and Safic included brand new and used products.
Speaking during the exercise, the Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma Esq. disclosed that the substandard cylinders were seized at different times during the first quarter of 2019.
Represented by Engr. Obiora Manafa, Director, Inspectorate and Compliance, Aboloma said that some of the brand new cylinders failed the agency’s mandatory test while others were not manufactured to the specifications in the Nigeria Industrial Standard NIS 69:2013 for LPG Steel Cylinders.
According to him, the used LPG cylinders were contraband as they are not allowed to be imported from outside Nigeria, while brand new products must only be imported with due authorisation from SON after necessary application and procedures.
He described the seized products as threats to safety of lives and properties of Nigerians and a drain on the economy having been paid for in hard earned foreign exchange.
On the method of destruction, he stated, “We are cutting them for recycling by steel plants because we cannot burn them,”.
Also speaking, SON Group Head, LPG, Engr. Nwaoma Olujie explained that the seized brand new 12.5kg cylinders were produced out of specification as camping gas which poses grave danger to users given the volume of LPG that will be exposed to direct heat during usage.
According to her, the maximum size of LPG Cylinder allowed for usage as camping gas is 6.25kg. “It is a time bomb”, she said.
The SON Director General advised importers of LPG cylinders to always follow the procedures set up by SON for the importation of the product into the country and disclosed that the perpetrators of the substandard and life endangering cylinders are already facing prosecution.
He also urged Nigerians to purchase only cylinders with SON registration marks, avoid buying camping gas cylinders order than those specified as such by the standard in order to safeguard their homes from avoidable fire incidents from substandard cylinders.