Are the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Petroleum Authority (NPA) doing their jobs as institutions?
I’m asking this question because of the issues that came up after the June 3rd disaster.
It’s important that we stop the blame game and delve a little into the conditions which fuel pump stations or filling stations as we popularly call them must meet before operation.
1. Area should be spacious enough to allow maneuvering of vehicles.
2. The site should not be near any public institution such as schools, hospitals, public libraries and playgrounds.
3. The site should not be close to any industrial firm as they produce a lot of heat.
4. The product being sold must not have adverse effect on the environment etc.
5. Fuel stations are to be 500 meters apart
6. The site must not serve any other purpose aside the reason for obtaining the permit.
It is only when these conditions are met that the EPA issues a permit for operation under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology.
Unfortunately, what we see in recent times is alarming. Fuel pump stations are springing up everywhere, some of these sites are located in the heart of residential areas, near schools and public areas. Worse still, some are operating chop bars, restaurants, grills and pubs.
This has become a major concern. One year on, and we’re still seeing the same loose ends. Permits are issued to applicants without any inspection and nobody goes round to supervise these fuel stations to see if they are complying to the conditions given them.
We are praying such a disaster never occurs but what are we doing as good citizens of our nation to make sure it never does again?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology must up their game. Thank you!