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Lagos declares 33 tank farms illegal

Lagos State government has declared 33 tank farms as illegal and gave them a seven-day ultimatum to get permits. The state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, who disclosed this yesterday, said only eight of the 41 tank farms existing in the state had planning permits authorising their establishments.

Salako spoke at a meeting with tank farm operators at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja,. He said most of the tank farms had been operating illegally and in variance with Section 27 of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) regulations 2019. According to him, the law stipulates that anyone who builds in Lagos State without Planning Permit commits an offence liable to enforcement, imposition of penal fees or removal of structure.

The commissioner said the state would be forced to enforce the laws on the recalcitrant operators. Salako warned that any tank farm that failed to start the process of regularisation of its facility after one week would face serious sanctions.

He said: “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.” The commissioner said the operations of the tank farms had thrown up many challenges for the state, such as pipeline vandalism, environmental degradation, fire outbreaks, traffic congestion and destruction of public infrastructure, among others.

He said the government had chosen to engage operators of tank farms to find a lasting solution, following the challenges posed by the presence of the tank farms which had become a serious concern. To ease the challenges, the commissioner said 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 a buffer zone of 250 metres to 500 metres between the tank farm and the community.

He added that the government had approved the preparation of an 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, Mr. Olalere Odusote (an engineer), who spoke through the Head of Oil and Gas Department in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Resources, Mr. Sesan Odukoya (an engineer), said that discussion at the interactive meeting reinforced previous engagements with the operators.

Speaking on the need to give back to the communities, the Special Adviser to the governor on Urban Development, Ganiyu Adele Ayuba, urged operators to partner with the government to deliver well- coordinated and impactful Corporate Social Responsibility to the host communities. Responding on behalf of the operators, Mr. Joseph Anabel and Mr. Ibraheem Yaro Muhammed, expressed delight over the meeting. They pledged to collaborate with the government to ensure improvement in the observed areas.

 

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