…LCCI embarks on gas use sensitisation across 5 locations in Lagos***
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) has deployed no fewer than 20 personnel to secure the site of a natural erupted gas flaring at Caritas University, Emene, Enugu State.
The NSCDC spokesman in Enugu State, Mr Danny Iwuchukwu, told the newsmen in Enugu on Friday that the Corps also deployed four operational vehicles at the site.
Iwuchukwu said that the deployment was done on Wednesday as the NSCDC Command got the alert of the incident.
He noted that the Commandant of NSCDC in Enugu State, Mr Valentine Afrika, quickly sent a dispatch of armed personnel and vehicles to ensure that the erupted gas, which went into flames, did not escalate within the neighbourhood.
“We are here and our men will continue to remain here to ensure that the natural disaster does not spread and destroy people’s houses, farmlands and other economic valuables within the site of the incident.
“We are also here to ensure that nobody will take advantage of the incident and cause any mayhem,” he said.
The spokesman said that NSCDC personnel had sealed the area close to the site against any human movement or activities.
Speaking to newsmen, the South-East Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Tickman Tanimo, said the Agency since Wednesday mobilised the Federal and Enugu State Fire Services to the site to ensure that the gas fire did not escalate.
Tanimo said that the Agency had mobilised the NSCDC, its staff and Enugu State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to be on the ground 24/7 to monitor development at the site.
“We have also informed the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the development.
“For now, the area is cordoned from people and the fire is within control,” he noted.
Newsmen recall that a statement issued by NOSDRA on Thursday in Yenegoa, Bayelsa, confirmed that the Agency received reports of a gas leak which engulfed into a fire in Emene, Enugu State.
Mr Idris Musa, Director-General of NOSDRA, said that the gas leakage was caused by water drilling activities which hit a gas reservoir at Emene in Enugu.
Musa, who described the development as natural gas, said that emergency response efforts were underway to avert disaster from the incident.
“There is a natural gas problem at a borehole drilling point at Caritas University, Emene, Enugu. In the course of drilling very deep to reach the aquifer, the drilling hit the gas level.
“The Chief Executive of Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has been notified.
“The Zonal Head of National Emergency Management Agency has secured the assistance of both Federal and State Fire Services
“Efforts are ongoing to secure more technical assistance to bring the situation under control,” Musa said.
In the same vein, the Lagos Chamber of the Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has begun the second phase awareness programme on the benefits of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) across five locations in Lagos.
The newsmen report that the sensitisation would hold for five Fridays in Ikorodu, Agboyi Ketu, Igando Ikotun, Agbado Oke Odo and Lagos Island zone, respectively.
The event tagged: #EkoforGasforEko on Friday in Lagos, was organised by the LCCI Liquefied Petroleum Gas Group and Community Development Committee (CDC).
The pilot scheme which took off at the Sabo market, Ikorodu, saw the distribution of 15 cylinders and industrial burners to participants.
Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, President, LCCI, said the programme was designed to intensify awareness on the benefits of using LPG as alternatives to biomass (charcoal, firewood) and kerosene.
Olawale-Cole recalled that in 2013, the LCCI alongside the Lagos State Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources organised the first phase of the Eko Gas scheme which involved the distribution of 20,000 units of 3kg and 6kg filled LPG cylinders across the state.
He added that the move was in line with the chamber’s mandate to promote a conducive business environment and with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 7 on access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy.
Olawale-Cole noted that usage of biomass and other dirty fuels led to harmful, destructive outcomes and diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, breathing problems, lung cancer, and asthma, among others.
“Continuous use of dirty fuels could lead to premature deaths, increased childhood and adult illnesses and strain on the healthcare system.
“The smoke and pollution released when we burn kerosene is also damaging to the environment.
“Burning biomass and kerosene release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) which cause climate change; these existential problems to the entire human race is the rationale for the adoption of cleaner energy like LPG,” he said.
Olawale-Cole noted that in spite of the advantages of LPG over other energy options, the transition remains very low in Nigeria and Lagos state, in particular.
This, he said, informed the need for a sensitisation programme, as a contribution to the transition process which is critical to eliminate attitudinal barriers and socioeconomic misgivings about LPG.
“Though all energy sources will release carbon dioxide when compared to oil, LPG only releases 81 per cent of the carbon dioxide that oil does and compared to coal, LPG only releases 70 per cent of the carbon dioxide,” he said.
Alhaja Taofikat Allison, Iya Oloja, Ayangburen, Ikorodu market, lauded the initiative and urged the beneficiaries on its proper usage to encourage more initiatives like this in a follow-up scheme.
State Chairman, CDC, Alhaji Amusat Azeez, reemphasised the dangers of using coal, firewood and kerosene stove on overall health and the environment.
Azeez encouraged women to begin to transition to better cooking sources such as gas due to its more economical, healthier and faster benefits.
Mrs Ramota ogayemi, a beneficiary, also lauded the efforts of the chamber and pledged to not only put the gas to good use but spread the word around on the need to move to cleaner, alternative energy sources.