The Nigeria Security and Civil Corps (NSCDC) in Akwa Ibom said it had arrested 10 suspected illegal Liquified Petroleum Gas operators in the state.
The State Commandant of the corps, Mr Adeyinka Ayinla, made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at the end of routine surveillance in Uyo on Thursday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the routine surveillance was in conjunction with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in the state.
He said that the corps was in collaboration with DPR to fish out illegal LPG refilling points in the state.
“We are going to investigate the matter and after a thorough investigation, we will take them to a court or pay some penalties to DPR.
“We have been pleading with the people of the state not to engage in illegal business. This kind of business can kill and that is why we are telling them to desist from it,” Ayinla said.
He advised gas operators to stop the illegal business, saying that anyone caught would face the wrath of the law.
Responding, Mr Tamunoiminabo Kingsley-Sundaye, Operations Controller of DPR, said that the department was against illegal LPG refilling points in the state.
“We went on joint action with NSCDC to ensure that we dismantle the illegal LPG refilling points in the state.
“This process is not allowed, they are not facilities, people converted residential houses and commercial areas to gas plants, where they turned cylinders to become vessels.
“This process we will continue to say that the mode is not known to any known standard in oil and gas industry not only in Nigeria and to the World,” he said.
He noted that the department would continue to sensitise and create awareness on the dangers of the illegal business.
Kingsley-Sunday said that the objective was to save lives and property in the state, adding that the department would not wait until the incident happens.
The controller said that the sister agency would continue close monitoring of the LPG refilling points across the state.
He advised the operators to desist from the business as it was dangerous even to the operators’ lives.
“Refilling in the process end with gas refilling plants, you cannot refill any cylinder at this point, what is allowed is gas resellers.