By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has disclosed that that the fire incident at the corporation retail affiliate station in Lagos on Monday was caused by underground tank and not diesel-ladden tanker as claimed by various media reports.
It explained that though the inferno at the filling station on Yaya Abatan Street, Ogba, Lagos State, was a regrettable incident, the Corporation places premium on required safety standards at all its filling stations across the country.
The Corporation’s Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited, Billy Okoye, reiterated that all its stations were operating under very high safety standards as endorsed by the Federal Fire Service and the Department of Petroleum Resources.
Okoye, through a statement by the NNPC spokesperson, Dr. Kennie Obateru, on Tuesday, noted that to mitigate incidences of fire outbreaks as well as other health and safety hazards, the management had put in place a solid policy to ensure all stations under her watch maintain required safety standards.
While sympathizing with Taibod Petroleum Ltd., the affiliate company, over the unfortunate incident and thanked the Federal Fire Service, NNPC fire fighters from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and other well-meaning Nigerians that supported in putting out the fire, Okoye said the preliminary investigation carried out by the Corporation showed that the inferno emanated from an underground tank.
He added that the NNPC Retail stations attendants across the country are well briefed and trained on handling of trucks and products discharge procedures.
“In all our stations, safety is very important and we have our Health Safety teams that go round to ensure that these safety standards are adhered to strictly. These safety teams visit these stations routinely to educate and enlighten these affiliate station owners on the need for them to uphold safety procedures.
Every station must hold fire drills every month and all staff of the stations are mandated to participate in these drills,” the statement said.
He stated that as the nation prepares for the relaxation of the presidential lockdown directives from next week, the NNPC Retail stations have over 400 trucks laden with petroleum products waiting to discharge at various stations.