The Lagos State Government has given Tank Farm Operators one week to commence the process of regularising their facilities by filling the application for Planning Permit.
This directive was given by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, at a meeting with Tank Farm Operators at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday.
The Commissioner observed that only eight out of the 41 Tank Farms existing in the State had Planning Permits authorising their establishments.
According to Salako, most of the Tank Farms in the State had been operating illegally and in variance with Section 27 of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority and Lagos State Building Control Agency 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.
He emphasised 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,” he stated.
Salako said 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.
He stated that viewing the challenges posed with serious concern, the State Government had chosen to engage operators of Tank Farms to find a lasting solution.
To ease the challenges, the Physical Planning 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 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.
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 Lagos State Government with a view to finding a lasting solution to challenges posed by their operations.
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 in order to deliver well-coordinated and impactful Corporate Social Responsibility to the host communities.
Speaking separately for the operators, Joseph Anabel and Ibraheem Yaro Muhammed expressed their delight with the meeting and pledged to collaborate with the State Government for improvement in the observed areas.