By Solomon Asowata
Lagos – The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has recommended that petrol tankers should be fitted with valves to prevent spillage in event of a rollover.
The Agency also said it was better for Nigeria to return to the era of 33,000 litres maximum capacity for tankers instead of the 45,000 litres currently being conveyed by majority of the trucks.
Mr Rufai Shakur, Acting Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), said these at the 13th edition of the Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL Africa Downstream) Conference held in Lagos.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference has as its theme: “Growth, Innovation and Technology’’.
Shakur, represented by Mr Oluwole Akinyosoye, DPR Zonal Operations Controller, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Kwara and Osun States, said the recommendations were the fallout from the Agency’s recently concluded Annual General Meeting with its stakeholders.
He said the DPR was concerned about the frequency of tanker accidents across Nigeria, stressing that this could be as a result of the high volume of fuel being conveyed by the trucks.
According to him, apart from endangering lives and properties, over-laden tankers also endanger the lifespan of Nigerian roads.
“It was also recommended that all petrol tankers should be fitted with valves that would prevent spillage in event of a rollover.
“Think of it, if we had that, the recent inferno at Onitsha, arising from spillage from a petroleum taker would not have happened.
“The 2018 incident on Otedola Bridge and many other fire incidents consequent on truck rollover might also have been averted’’, Shakur said.
He said it was safer and more efficient to use rail and pipelines for transporting of petroleum products.
He noted that this was however being hampered by activities of vandals which needed to be tackled using modern technology.
Shakur, while commending the organisers of the conference, said the DPR would continue to support initiatives that would improve operations in the downstream sector.
Earlier, Mr Alex Egbona, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream Sector), said the sector was very crucial to ordinary Nigerians due to its impact on their daily lives.
Egbona said the committee had charged the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, during his recent budget defence, to ensure that all refineries were working optimally within the next four years.
He said the lawmakers were also planning to hold town hall meetings with critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta to find a lasting solution to oil theft and pipeline vandalism.