The Nigerian state of Ogun has introduced a total ban on refrigerants for the servicing and repair of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
The ban follows a series of fatal explosions that killed seven people and injured at least eight more.
The Ogun State government imposed the ban on the sale of industrial gas last week confirming there has been five explosions in less than a fortnight.
The state commissioner for special duties and intergovernmental affairs Femi Ogunbanwo said anyone found guilty of selling adulterated gas products or violating safety protocols would have the “full weight of the law to contend with.”
This week the special adviser to the Governor on Environment, Ola Oresanya, extended the ban to the servicing and repair of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
“Technicians who specialise in the repairs and servicing of these cooling systems, and dealers on the affected gas types, are directed to adhere strictly to this ban in their own interest and that of the public,” he said.
“With the recent incidence of gas explosions in Ogun state, the state government in its bid to ensure that no further lives are lost through similar circumstances, or any other avoidable circumstance whatsoever is placing a ban on all cooling systems related gas sales, purchase and use, until further notice. Compliance is not optional.”
Oresanya described the explosions as an ugly development, which must be nipped in the bud immediately.
Last week, an explosion at the Presidential Library killed two engineers who were reported to be refilling gas into air conditioners.
A day later, two people were taken to hospital after an unattended gas cylinder exploded in the yard of a construction company.
The previous week, an infant and two other people were burnt to death after an explosion as a technician was attempting to refill the gas of a refrigerator.
In a separate incident, a person lost a limb in an explosion blamed on “refrigerator gas.”
The same week, two people died when an oxyacetylene cylinder exploded as engineers were working on a revolving door at the city’s Conference Hotel. Three others were injured. Initial reports have blamed a sub-standard cylinder bought from a local market.
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has advised government agencies and the Nigerian Police to investigate the incidents for signs of negligence.