No fewer than 33 tank farms may be put under lock and key and closed down for operation, should the operators fail to comply with seven days ultimatum given by Lagos State Government to begin the process of regularising their facilities by filling applications for planning permit.
With the ultimatum, tank farm facilities being operated illegally across the state would be sealed in accordance with regulations guiding the state built sector and that operators of such facilities would be made to face full wrath of law.
As stated, only 8 out of the 41 tank farms existing in the state had planning permits authorizing their establishments, and that the remaining 33 tank farms were operating illegally without necessary certifications from the built sector certifying their operation.
The state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, who frowned at the illegal operation of tank farms noted that their actions were invariance with Section 27 of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA)and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) regulations 2019.
Issuing the ultimatum yesterday during a meeting with tank farm operators at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, Salako said that any tank farm that failed to start the process of regularisation of its facility after one week would face serious sanctions.
According to him, operations of the tank farms had thrown up many challenges for the state, including pipeline vandalism, environmental degradation, fire outbreak, traffic congestion, and destruction of public infrastructure among others, a development that prompt the government and operators engagement.
“Considering the importance of the activities of the tank farms to the economy of the country, it is pertinent that they embrace best practices and operate in the most friendly manner to the host communities” he stated.
To ease the challenges, the commissioner maintained that it was paramount for the tank farms to provide complementary facilities and services such as holding bays, traffic personnel as well as the maintenance of buffer zone of 250m to 500m between the tank farm and the communities.
He added that government had approved the preparation of the Action Area Plan for Ijegun Egba to address the planning issues raised by the operations of Tank Farms such as road connectivity, security, and transportation linkage.
On his part, the Commissioner for Energy and Minerals Resources, Engr. Olalere Odusote, speaking through his Head of Oil and Gas Department, Engr. Sesan Odukoya, stated that discussion at the interactive meeting reinforced previous engagements with the operators of these installations by the government with a view to finding a lasting solution to challenges posed by their operations.
Speaking separately for the operators, Joseph Anabel and Mr. Ibraheem Yaro Muhammed expressed their delight with the meeting and pledged to collaborate with the state government for improvement in the observed areas.