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, Idris Salako at a meeting with tank farm operators at Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday.
The Commissioner observed that only 8 out of the 41 tank farms existing in the state had planning permits 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 State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) regulations 2019, which stipulates that anyone who built in Lagos State without planning permit commits an offence liable to enforcement, the imposition of penal fees or removal of the 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.
“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,” the commissioner said.
Salako said 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.
He stated that viewing the challenges posed with serious concern, the state government had chosen to engage operators 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 a buffer zone of 250m to 500m between them and the community.
He added that the government had approved the preparation of the 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, Olalere Odusote, speaking through his Head of Oil and Gas Department, Sesan Odukoya stated that discussion at the interactive meeting reinforced previous engagements with the tank farm operators with a view to finding a lasting solution to challenges posed by their operations.