Africa: Nigeria’s Government to explore rail transport in moving cooking gas and petrol around the country.

Plans are underway towards adopting rail transportation in the movement of petrol and cooking gas around the country. This is information released by the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and reported by Punch newspapers in an article by Femi Asu.

The parastatal had lamented that fuel depots have been at the mercy of vandals with fleet of tankers posing huge risks to lives and properties daily.

The Executive Secretary, PEF, Ahmed Bobboi while speaking at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit 2020 in Abuja ,the nation’s capital said, “We are going into railway equalisation. We are in consultation with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, and other stakeholders, including the private sector.

“With the improvement in our rail system going on now with government’s impetus towards making this available, we are going to use rail to make that sure that gas , not just petrol ,is made available to people in every part of the country.” he assured.

He further said there are plans to between the PEF and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to sensitize the public on safety of gas usage.

This project if implemented will halt the incessant cases of petrol tanker explosions on the highways which usually claim lives and properties in millions.

Residents in Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria won’t forget in a hurry the fire incident of June 2018 which involved a fully loaded tanker with petroleum product falling and spilling it’s content on the already hot asphalt road leading to an explosion. At least 54 vehicles were consumed in the raging inferno with about nine lives lost.

A similar incidence occured at the Upper Iweka end of the ever busy Onitsha commercial town in Anambra State when a tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of petrol caught fire.

These are few of the many cases of tanker explosions around the country.

Many would expect a quick experimentation of the rail project while assessing the rate of reduction of tanker related explosions.

by Francis Ogwo

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