No more tank farm licences, residents in Lagos insist
• Operators promise better cooperation, commitment
• Drivers blame government laxity on truck parks
Residents of Satellite Town under the aegis of Satellite Town Forum (STF), have called on operators of Tank Farms in the Ijegun Egba, and environs to be more cooperative, while also complaining about the operations and menace of fuel trucks in the community.
Speaking at a town hall meeting, Tuesday, involving all concerned stakeholders within the Ijegun Egba, Satellite Town area, the Chairman, of the Forum, Governor Initimi, enumerated the challenges faced by residents in the area, as a result of tank farm operations.
Initimi said: “We have made efforts to see how we could co-exist; we have reached out to government at the state level, and other relevant agencies, but such meeting was never granted. We called the tank farm operators for a sit down, but it was not honoured, until we directed our calls to the Presidency in 2018, which took note of our plight, and directed the relevant ministry, and the Nigerian Port Authority.”
Initimi reiterating the willingness of the residents to co-exist with the 12 tank farms currently operating in the area, cautioned the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), against further issuance of operational licence for Tank Farms in the area.
Agreeing, the Executive Vice-Chairman, Oriade Local Council Development Area, Badmus Olanrewaju, said the Council support’s residents demand that no new tank farm should be established in the community.
He argued that tank farm operators have a cooperate social responsibility to their host communities, especially in ensuring there is no traffic gridlock resulting from indiscriminate parking of fuel trucks.
“As it is, we’ve written to the State Government for the expansion of the Maruwa Road; but before then, I want to say that if the tank farms had liaised with the local government, we can proffer some solutions, to make some other alternative inner routes motorable, to ease traffic congestion,” Olanrewaju added.
The Chairman, South West, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Taiyo Aboyeji, also spoke on the challenges of getting the tankers off the roads, while pointing out the laxity in the system; and government’s enforcement of compliance by tank farm owners.
He said: I want to tell the residents, we, as tanker drivers, fought on your behalf, but you didn’t know. When we found out that there were tank farms here, we alerted the government that there would be problems here, but the government did not listen.”
He argued that much of the challenge would have been resolved if DPR, the petroleum industry regulator had enforced the rules for tank farm operation, that “you must have a loading bay, which can take a minimum of 100 tankers coming into your depot.””
“ Aboyeji noted that only 20 per cent of tank farm operators have truck parks, adding that in the absence of such parks, there is a need to adopt a call-up system to reduce the number of tankers on the roads and lead to a more efficient means of evacuation from the tank farms
Speaking on behalf of operators in Ijegun Egba, the Group Managing Director, Emadeb Energy Service Limited, also the Chairman, Tank Farm Owners Association (TFOA), Olujimi Adebowale, promised to cooperate more with residents in the area.
Adebowale said: “We, as business owners within the Satellite axis, we decided to have this engagement, and we want to ask for you to pardon us, because we know we may not have lived up to expectations. We are responsible citizens and we don’t want to make life difficult for anyone, just because we’re doing business.”
He said operators have been engaging the state government on the issue of truck parks, and in the meantime, have given a seven-day ultimatum to truck drivers to vacate the roads after the elections.