It sounded funny to Mrs. Zainab Olalekan when she was asked if she knew her gas cylinder had an expiry date.
This was as she wondered how the steel gas cylinder which according to her she inherited from her mother has an expiry date.
This was the position of one of the users of gas cylinders our correspondent spoke to at a gas retail shop around the Okota axis of Lagos State.
Industry reports have revealed that in the last decade, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) popularly known as cooking gas has gained acceptability among Nigerians.
This has led to a surge in the nation’s domestic gas market and subsequently growth in the consumption rate of cooking gas in the country.
It was gathered that between 2014 and 2020, the consumption rate of cooking gas grew from 2, 000 metric tonnes per annum to 1.2 million.
This, therefore, has led to the ownership of several gas cylinders by households across the country.
The Standard Organisation Of Nigeria (SON) in one of its document titled ‘Public Alert On Expiration Of Liquified Petroleum Gas Steel Cylinders In Line With Nigeria Industrial Standard NIS 69:2013’ discloses that, in Nigeria, cylinders takes 15 years to expire.
The organization explained that gas steel cylinder’s life span differs from country to country in accordance with the relevant National Standard.
However, in the Nigeria National Standard for LPG Steel Cylinder NIS 69:2013 specifies a life span of 15 years is specified for all gas steel cylinders locally manufactured or imported.
The body said while imported cylinders are required to have manufacturer’s brand name, country of origin, test pressure, tare weight, SON Product registration number with prefix FA and year of manufacture as minimum marking requirements embossed on them, locally manufactured ones will carry MANCAP Logo and number in addition (see NIS 69:2013 for details).
The SON said in order to know if or when your cylinder would expire, one would need to add 15 to the manufacturing date.
The organization also added that all cylinders in the country are to be requalified every five years from the date of manufacture with the organization to ascertain if it’s still healthy to contain gas.
Describing where users can locate the manufacturing date on gas cylinders in Nigeria, the SON said the marking information can be found on the shroud (handle) or foot ring (stand/base) of the gas cylinders, adding that 15 years would be added to the date to know when it would expire.
Interacting with a cross-section of users at a gas retail shop in Okota, Naija News discovered that while a few said they were aware gas cylinders had expiry dates but have never taken them serious, majority said they didn’t know.
A user identified as Omotola whose cylinder paint had peeled said she doesn’t know cylinder do expire and that she taught it was for life.
Another user, Wasiu said he has heard it before but doesn’t take it seriously.
Meanwhile, the SON said all expired cylinders are to be withdrawn from circulation.
Speaking with the Executive Secretary/CEO of Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM), Bassey Essien in an interview, he said people are getting aware of the fact that gas cylinders have expiration dates, only they have decided to be ignorant about it.
According to him, there has been increased awareness by some relevant stakeholders including the SON about the subject matter, however, the issue at hand is the ownership of cylinders in the country.
The NALPGAM CEO submitted that it is difficult to regulate issues of such nature because in Nigeria is a cylinder ownership system.
Essien, who said people like cutting corners even when they know the right thing to do said there are people using gas cylinders of 40 to 50, without knowing the implications.
He noted that just like any other items that have expiry dates, gas cylinders too have and it would be safer if people start respecting that fact.
Speaking about enforcement, he said the SON at intervals storm has retail shops with rusty and expired cylinder and confiscate them to be destroyed, but gas plant owners don’t have the legal backing to seize someone’s cylinder, “instead I will only tell you the obvious implication which is explosion and educate the user.”
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