The Lagos State Government has given Tank Farm Operators seven days to commence the process of regularising their facilities by submitting applications for Planning Permit.
The Honourable Commissioner for PhysicalPlanning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, who gave the directive at a meeting held with the operators in Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday, observed that only eight out of the 41 Tank Farms existing in the State have PlanningPermits authorising their establishments.
According to him, most of the tank farms in the State had been operating illegally and at variance with Section 27 of the Lagos StatePhysical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) Regulations 2019, which stipulates that anyone who builds in Lagos State without PlanningPermit commits an offence liable to enforcement, imposition of penal fees or removal of the structure.
He emphasised that any tank farm that fails to start the process of regularisation of its facility after a week would face serious sanctions, saying “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 serious concern, therefore the State Government had chosen to engage operators of Tank Farms to find a lasting solution.
The Physical Planning Commissioner insisted that, in order to ease the 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 disclosed that the government 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.
Speaking on the need to give back to the communities, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Ganiyu Adele Ayuba, tasked operators to partner with the government in order to deliver a 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 thanked the government for convening the meeting and pledged to collaborate with the present administration for necessary improvement on all areas of discussion.