Lagos State government has raised concerns over illegal operation of 31 petroleum tank farms, saying out of 41 such facilities scattered across the state, only eight have valid planning permit to business.
Consequently, the state government has directed the illegal operators to file application for planning permit and commence the process of regularising their facilities within one week, warning that failure to comply would attract severe sanctions.
The state commissioner for physical planning and urban development, Idris Salako at a stakeholders meeting held with tank farms operators at Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday, decried that most of the tank farms in the state had been operating illegally as only eight out of the 41 tank farms existing in the state had planning permits authorising their establishments which was an offence punishable by law
He stated that the illegal operation was 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 built in Lagos State without planning permit commits an offence liable to enforcement, imposition of penal fees or removal of structure.
“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 friendliest manner to the host communities” Salako explained.
He added 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.
As a recommendation to the challenges, the commissioner said that it was paramount for the tank farms operators 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 farms and the community.
He added that government had 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.
Olalere Odusote, commissioner for energy and minerals resources who was represented by the head of oil and gas department, Sesan Odukoya said at the meeting that the discussion reinforced previous engagements with the operators of these installations by the Lagos State government with a view to finding a lasting solution to challenges posed by their operations.
Ganiyu Adele Ayuba, special adviser to Lagos State governor on urban development, urged operators to partner with the government in order to deliver well-coordinated and impactful corporate social responsibility to the host communities.
Speaking on behalf of the operators, Ibraheem Yaro Muhammed pledged to collaborate with the state government for improvement in the observed areas.
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