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House investigates cases of petroleum tanker accidents

<![CDATA[The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to investigate rising cases of petroleum tanker accidents which had led to wanton destruction of lives and property across the country.

The decision followed a motion of Urgent Public Importance on the menace by Rep. Johnson Oghuma (Edo-APC) at plenary in Abuja.

On Thursday in Lagos, 12 persons and at least 54 vehicles were burnt after a fuel-laden tanker exploded on Otedola Bridge.

Oghuma said that the House was alarmed by accidents involving petroleum tankers, noting that the frequency of such incident had become high, and calling for high safety measures.

He said that it was disheartening that the petroleum industry, expected to operate under complete safety due to high inflammatory level of its products, continued to flout health, safety and environmental regulations.

He expressed worry that most of the accidents were caused by use of vehicles that could not pass the regulations, but were allowed to load products from depots without regards to the operational regulations.

”The House regrets that records of these accidents have revealed that 79 per cent of the accidents are caused by human factors.

“And, when they occur, the likelihood of spillage, fire and explosion is 70 per cent with injury or fatality at 81 per cent occurrences,” he said.

According to him, the cost of these losses of lives and property is nationally unacceptable and unfortunate.

“The House urges the Federal Government through its agencies such as DPR, FRSC and NVIO, to as a matter of urgency work out an improved policy to curb this increasing menace.

”It also urges the Federal Government to also as a matter of exigency take over the medical bills of victims of the recent Lagos tanker explosion,” he said.

When the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, put the motion to voice vote, the lawmakers unanimously supported it.

Consequently, the House mandates the Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and (Upstream), respectively, to investigate the cases and recommend steps to curb them.

The committees were given six weeks to report back for further legislative action.

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