*ask Oyo Govt, DPR to rise up , avert the danger
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Residents of Aerodrome area of Ibadan under the auspices of Aerodrome GRA (AGRAM) Home owners and residents on Saturday raised alarm of the imminent danger to their lives by the construction of a gas plant in their community.
Raising the alarm at a press conference held at the Aerodrome GRA besides the planned gas plant, the residents asked the Oyo state Government and the Department for Petroleum Resources, (DPR) to bail the community out of the looming threat the area.
Addressing the press conference, the Vice Chairman, AGRA, Professor Omolola Atalabi called on the Oyo State Government and the DPR to without wasting time revoke the approval granted for the construction of the gas plant in the area, saying, “in the wake of several gas explosions in various parts of the country, the point cannot be overemphasized that it is inappropriate to locate a gas plant in the precincts of Aerodrome GRA, as the emission of substances from the plant will be hazardous to residents, and the devastations of fire outbreaks cannot be ruled out.”
“The scientific evidence for these occurrences is incontrovertible.Several examples abound. In March, 2020, 23 people were killed and 50 residential buildings destroyed at Abule-Ado Area, Lagos state, as a result of an explosion at a gas station sited within the residential area. In July 2020, there was a gas explosion at the Kaduna LPG which claimed several lives and properties. In September 2020, another explosion in Orile Area of Lagos led to the destruction of residential buildings, just to mention a few examples”, she said.
Professor Atalabi stressed “in addition to the lessons from the unfortunate incidents listed above, which clearly illustrate the dangers of locating gas plants in residential communities, paragraph 2.3 (g) of the Guidelines for the approval of License for construction / installation, modification, relocation and operation of Liquified Petroleum Gas, 2018 issued by the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) provides that “the proposed site shall not constitute threats or hazards to the area”.
“We have every reason to believe that a proper Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is a part of the condition precedent for the establishment of a gas plant, was not carried out before the purported approval was granted.The EIA, to draw a parallel example, was done before Ventura Mall, which is located near the gas plant under construction, was approved and built. All the stakeholders were called to a meeting brokered by the State’s Ministry of Environment. A joint agreement was duly signed and the parties have co-existed in peace since then.
“The Gasland plant is being constructed on the Oyo road highway at a blind corner bend, which records an average of 10 vehicular accidents occasioning loss of lives per month. There is also a Muslim praying ground across the road, and worshippers use the front of the proposed gas plant as a pickup point for public transport.We appeal to concerned authorities, including the Oyo State Government and DPR, to save us from the imminent danger to our lives posed by the construction of the gas plant. We therefore appeal for (1) the immediate revocation of the approval purportedly granted to Gasland Nigeria Limited for the construction of a gas plant at Aerodrome GRA; and (2) the immediate stoppage of construction work on the site in the interest of Residents and Homeowners of the GRA, those in adjoining communities, and the public at large.”
Appreciating Oyo State Government under the able leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde, the Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Staff of the Ministry of Lands and Housing, and the Ministry of Environment for being proactive and understanding on this matter, Professor Atalabi said, “on behalf of the entire homeowners and residents of Aerodrome GRA, I welcome you to this press conference, which we have called to express our fears over, and opposition to, the construction of an LPG Gas Plant on the precincts of the GRA.We are informed that the said construction by Gasland was purportedly approved by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development under the Senator Abiola Ajimobi administration.”