Residents of Aerodrome GRA in Ibadan have protested against the erection of a gas plant in the estate due to incidences of gas explosions in the country.
The residents under the umbrella of Aerodrome GRA Homeowners and Residents (AGRA) appeal to Oyo State government, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to immediately revoke and stop the construction of LPG gas plant in the area.
Our correspondent learnt that a gas plant is under construction in the estate.
But, residents of the estate while protesting, insisted that citing of a gas plant in the area posses a lot of dangers on both residents and other citizens.
AGRA Vice President, Profesosr Omolola Atalabi, while addressing journalists at the weekend appealed to Oyo State Government and DPR, to save them from imminent danger posed by the construction of the gas plant.
Atalabi who spoke on behalf of over one thousand residents of the area, maintained that 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.
Atalabi called for immediate revocation of the approval purportedly granted to the gas plant.
She added that the protest against the construction of the gas plant became necessary so as to avoid what happened at Abule Egba in Lagos State where about 23 people were killed and to avoid similar occurrence where many lives were lost during a gas explosion in Kaduna State.
“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.
“We are shocked and dismayed that approval could have been given for such construction, considering the obvious health hazards and other environmental dangers of siting a gas plant in a gated community such as the Aerodrome GRA.
“We have no problems with the development of the section of the GRA where the plant in question is located, because we understand that it is a commercial zone, but frown at, and are opposed to, any commercial venture that endangers the lives, health, safety and security of residents and the public at large.
“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.
“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 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 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.”