House of Reps raises alarm over state of tank farms

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By Sunday Igbaugba and Edeki Igafe
Benin (Edo), Aug. 20, 2020 The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Relocation of Tank Farms in Residential Areas across the country has raised alarm over the poor state of the facilities.

The committee’s Chairman, Mr Sergius Ogun, described the facilities as time bombs on Thursday in Benin, during a stakeholders meeting with tank farm operators and some relevant government agencies.

Some of the agencies at the meeting were: the Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Port Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Ministry of Environment and Federal Fire.

Ogun said that most of the petroleum products depots inspected by the committee between Tuesday and Wednesday in Delta did not meet the required standards.

The House of Representatives had on March 19 constituted the ad hoc committee, following a motion by a member on the need to relocate tank farms in the residential areas of Ijegun, Kirikiri and other areas in Lagos.

The committee was saddled with the responsibility to investigate the activities of the tank farms in the country to ensure safety of lives and property in the areas.

According to the chairman, the companies had issues with compliance to rules of the business.

He said: “From our investigation, we observed compliance issue with almost all the tank farms and we have asked the operators to work on those compliance issue.

“All the tank farms are tinkling time bomb; the fire hydrants for some of them are not working and there are many other defaults. They must attend to those things.

“One accident can knock out a whole community. We are not talking about the company, staff and the billions the owners claimed they have invested.

“We are giving them time to correct those errors.

Some members of the committee will coming back in the next two weeks to inspect those facilities and if they still do not comply, we will issue a statement.”

Ogun urged all the regulatory agencies to synegise and put the tank farm operators on their toes

“If the agencies work together, they will be able to check the excesses of the tank farm operators,” he said.

Also speaking, the Vice Chairmen of the Ad hoc committee, Mrs Miriam Onuoha, urged the Delta Government to partner with the depot operators in the state in providing good road network and other basic infrastructure.

“There are a lot of infrastructural decays in the areas the tank farms operates.

“So, there is need for the Delta government to synergise with the tank farms in the provision of basic infrastructure,” she said.

Some of the tank farms inspected in Delta included Coastal Consult, Taurus Oil and Gas, Optima Enery Group, Ebenco, Rainoil, Renoir, Prudent Energy, Frado International, Nepal Oil and Cybernetics.

Others were: A&E Petroleum, Aida Energy Limited, Matrix Energy, Matrix Gas, Bluefin, Pinnacle, AYM Shafa Limited and Keonamex Petroleum.

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