Bauchi communities disagree with DPR over siting of gas plant

Bauchi Communities in Tirwun village of Bauchi Local Government area have disagreed with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to site five Gas plants in the area.

A traditional title holder in Bauchi Emirate Council, Dr Hayatu Mustapha, stated the position of the communities on Thursday while speaking with reporters in Bauchi.

Hayatu who holds the traditional title of Barden Kudun Bauchi said that their attention was drawn to a press release by DPR over its plan to site gas plants in the area, pointing out that the development was a clear case of compromise and deception.

“From the DPR Procedures and Guidelines, page 7, item D, it provides clearly that for an LPG Facility to be situated, there must be a 50 meters distance from public facilities such as school, mosque, church, market, terminus. It is worrisome that in the case of Tirwun, there is a Jumu’ah Masjid mosque and Eid ground close to the plant which has been completely ignored despite series of appeals from not only the residents but other well-meaning citizens.”

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“Since it has become a case of negation and defiance to laid down procedure, we are calling on the Executive Governor to exercise the powers conferred on him by the constitution to intervene just the way the Kaduna state governor did in a similar situation,” he said

Recently residents of Tirwun and ATBU Kari Estate Staff Quarters in Bauchi metropolis addressed a press conference at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ Bauchi, where they appealed to the concerned authorities to, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to the construction of a gas plant by a private energy company, Action Energy Nigeria Limited, in their area.

The residents, while addressing journalists, said the building the gas plants was not only hazardous but also dangerous.

The spokesperson of the residents, Muhammad Gurama, who was in the company of Muhammad Chiroma, Mubarak Hamza, and Abdulmalik Yalwa, said that the gas plant will be sharing the same premises with a fuel station.

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Reacting to the concerns of the residents, the operations controller of the DPR, Abdullahi Iliyasu, told reporters in Bauchi that all the plants were established after rigorous assessment and evaluation of the safety of the environment and the people.

“An Environmental Impact Assessment was carried out before the plants were approved. The DPR embarked on a sensitization tour of filling stations and existing Liquefied Petroleum Gas plants (LPG) on strict adherence to safety measures.

“We sensitized operators of filling stations, gas plants, and the general public on the need for strict adherence and observance of safety measures in their stations,” he said.

He urged consumers of LPG to always check the expiry date of their gas cylinder before purchase and buy gas from certified gas plants and follow safety rules while refilling their cylinder.

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