The Lagos State Government has issued a 7-day ultimatum to Tank Farm Operators in the state to commence the process of regularizing their facilities by submitting applications for planning permit.
The directive was given by the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, during a meeting with the operators at Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja.
During the meeting, Salako observed that only 8 out of the 41 Tank Farms existing in the State have Planning Permits authorizing their establishments.
According to Salako, most of the tank farms in the State had been operating illegally and at variance with Section 27 of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) Regulations 2019, which stipulates that anyone who builds in Lagos State without Planning Permit commits an offence liable to enforcement, the imposition of penal fees or removal of the structure.
He made it clear that any tank farm operator that fails to start the process of regularization of its facility after a week would face serious sanctions.
He said, “In view of 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, especially in their host communities.’’
While noting that the 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, Salako maintained that these challenges pose a serious concern, therefore the State Government had chosen to engage operators of Tank Farms to find a lasting solution.
Going further, the Commissioner insisted that, in order to ease some of these challenges, Tank Farms Operators have to provide complementary facilities and services, like holding bays, traffic personnel as well as the maintenance of buffer zone of 250m to 500m between the Tank Farm and the community.
He revealed that Lagos state has approved the preparation of 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 Honourable Commissioner for Energy and Minerals Resources, Engr. Olalere Odusote, speaking through the Head of Oil and Gas Department, Engr. Sesan Odukoya, stated that the interactive meeting has reinforced previous engagements between the Operators and the Lagos State Government to find a lasting solution to challenges posed by tank farm operations.
In their response on behalf of the operators, Mr Joseph Anabel and Mr Ibraheem Yaro Muhammed thanked the government for convening the meeting and pledged to collaborate with the present administration for necessary improvement on all areas of discussion.