The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained that the fire incidents that occurred at its affiliate station in Lagos originated from an underground tank.
The inferno which happened on Monday in Ogba, Lagos destroyed over 30 vehicles in a neighbouring car mart.
NNPC in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru on Tuesday in Abuja said that all stations under the brand name of NNPC Retail Limited operate under very high safety standards as endorsed by the Federal Fire Service and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
NNPC Retail Limited has more than 600 stations across the country, Obateru added.
Obateru quoted the Managing Director of the NNPC Retail Limited, a subsidiary of the corporation, Sir Billy Okoye, as saying that, as a policy, the Management of the company ensures that all stations under her watch maintain required safety standard in order to curtail incidences of fire outbreaks as well as other health and safety hazards.
Okoye explained that preliminary information about the unfortunate fire accident at one of its affiliate stations in Lagos on Monday showed that the inferno emanated from an underground tank, saying however that the fire was swiftly extinguished without any mortality recorded.
He said that the NNPC Retail Management sympathized 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.
Sir Okoye dismissed the insinuation that the fire was caused by a truck that was discharging petroleum products at the scene of the incident, adding that NNPC retail stations attendants 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,” Sir Okoye 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.