The Department of Petroleum Resources in Niger has urged residents of the state to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking to save the environment from the depletion of trees.
The Controller, DPR in the state, Alhaji Isah Jankara, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Minna, Niger on Wednesday.
“Now that the LPG commonly known as cooking gas is available everywhere, we want residents in Niger to adopt use of cooking with domestic gas to save our natural environment.
“We cannot fold our arms and pretend that we don’t know the environmental health hazards associated with the felling of trees that protect our environment.
“Even the hazardous emissions emanating from charcoal and firewood during cooking are dangerous to health,” Jankara said.
He said the Federal Government was doing everything possible to encourage the use of domestic gas (LPG) because of the enormous benefits attached to it.
He said that the commodity was cheaper compared with kerosene and kept the kitchen utensils clean in terms of emitting carbon.
The controller noted that when he arrived the state some years ago, there was only one gas plant in Minna serving the public.
“Infact that gas plant was illegal because it did not have operating licence.
“Now we have about eight gas plants serving the public across the state, I think we are making progress,” he said.
Jankara said that there were rules and regulations for setting up gas plants anywhere across the country.
“Any gas plant must and should be at least 50 metres away from the nearest residential building,” he said.
Jankara said that there was a particular distance between a gas plant and the road but did not give the detail.
He said that the personnel attached to the gas plant must be trained in handling modern plants, saying that there must be running water in the plant.
The controller said that the police, fire service, urban development and others had roles to play in setting up a gas plant.
He said that the abundant gas resources found in Nigeria had made the government encourage the use of the LPG and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for automobiles.
“This is why the government is also encouraging the use of LPG in homes and CNG in automobiles.
“The cost of refining LPG is cheaper and easier,” he said.
Hajiya Fatima Garba, a resident of Minna, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) confirmed that using cooking gas was cheaper and cleaner.
“The only measure was to guide children during use to avert any fire outbreak due to the inflammable nature of the gas,” Mrs Garba said.