OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee probing the need to relocate tank farms from residential areas in Ijegun and Kiri-kiri in Lagos State and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have disagreed over who the approving authority is for tank farm sites.
At a hearing on Wednesday in Abuja, the NPA represented by Arc. Yusuf Ahmed, General Manager, Land and Asset Administration, said the agency had nothing to do with tank farm site approvals.
But Mr. Sergius Ogun, chairman of the committee, insisted that the NPA had stated in its submissions that it gave the contentious approvals to site the tank farms in residential areas.
According to Ahmed, because of the experience of tank farms in Apapa, very few others were given approvals by the NPA after 2008 as there was a restriction on such approvals.
“In my view, the problem came about because of lack of synergy between the planning authorities,” the official said, adding that it would have been better if the Lagos authorities (who were absent at the hearing) were available to explain how the tank farms came about.
“Those tank farms at Ijegun and Kirikiri are clearly not sitting on NPA land. If they were on NPA land, those tank farms will probably not be there. We are very careful of people we allow to develop on NPA land.
“And we are aware, because of our experience in Apapa with tank farms, the Federal Government had in 2008 directed that no further tank farms be allowed/approved. After this directive, no further tank farm was approved since 2008.”
He said when there was a need to build a tank farm in Lekki Free Trade Zone, NPA had to get a waiver from the Federal Government.
However, a member of the committee, Mr. Uko Nkole (PDP Abia), insisted that Ahmed was not correct.
“I don’t agree with you. From the documents you gave us, you gave approvals for Ijegun and Kirikiri. You’ve supplied us documents, so if you say you did not do it, the tenders come through NPA, and the channelisation, the water through they transport the vessels to the tank farms.
“All those vessels and what they’re carrying, you gave us all those information, and yet, you’re saying you did not approve?,” he queried.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ogun who remained unsatisfied with NPA submission noted that there is lack of synergy between the Federal Ministry of Environment, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and NPA and asked them all to bring all approvals of all tank farms before the committee, while the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Fire Service is to avail the committee with safety report of 2019 and 2020.
Mr. Ogun therefore resolved that the committee will embark on oversight visits to tank farms in Lagos and Delta States.