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Fire hazard: Anambra govt clamps down unapproved gas plants, petrol stations

By Chuks Collins

The Anambra State Government shall soon wield the big stick on all illegally sited and unapproved gas/refill plants all over the state due to heightened incidents of fire mishaps in this dry season.

This notice was dropped by the Special Assistant to Gov Willie Obiano on Oil/Gas, Chief Chris Okonkwo in an interview with journalists in Awka.

Chief Okonkwo who is also the Chairman of Anambra state Taskforce on Procurement, Pricing, Regulation and Distribution of Petroleum Products said that the clampdown would be extended to all illegal and unapproved petroleum products dispensing outlets.

He frowned at the rate at which these outlets have been springing up at nearly every part of the state without recourse to the strict safety standard of the state government as represented by his office.

According to him, “…whenever these rules are disobeyed or ignored unchallenged, fire tragedy is bound to result now or in future. Therefore we cannot allow that because that is the reason His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano established this office to supervise, monitor and clampdown on defaulters without hesitation.

“We spent huge human and material resources to train our officers on the hazard implications of any unauthorized or unapproved sitting of a gas plant or petrol station. These include all those who illegally sell gas cylinders at street corners, market areas or residential environments.

We shall soon commence enforcement so as to save Anambra residents from any unnecessary fire mishap and agony.

Chief Okonkwo, an experienced player in the petroleum/gas distribution, marketing and retail sector said that his office has restored sanity in the sector since he came on board, described himself as a workaholic round-the-clock fields operations officer who hardly sits down.

“It’s how I have been working since coming on board, and that’s why the incidence of fire outbreak was reduced to the barest minimum in the state this dry season…” He cautioned citizens to be wary of fire, especially when handling inflammable materials always.

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