The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, on Wednesday said it would be difficult to relocate tank farms from their present locations in the residential areas.
He made the observation when the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Relocation of Tank Farms in Residential Areas, paid him a courtesy visit in Warri.
Sergius Ogun led the House Committee and representatives of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), NIMASA, Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Fire Service.
Ikenwoli said the best option was to ensure that stakeholders should operate in clusters and a safe environment.
“It is not easy to relocate tank farms; if you relocate them far away, people will still go there and build near the tank farms because of commerce. The best thing is to ensure that stakeholders come together and operate in a safe environment,” the monarch said.
The committee members thereafter proceeded to Ifiekporo in Warri South Local Government Area, to inspect some tank farms. Among the tank farms inspected were A&E Petroleum; Aida Energy Limited; Matrix Energy; Matrix Gas; Bluefin; Pinnacle; AYM Shafa Limited and Keonamex Petroleum.
Luqman Salam-Alada, who spoke with newsmen on behalf of Matrix Energy, said that the company was safety conscious.
“Safety is our goal; we invest so much on safety. The government should help us construct the second access road that connects the NPA,” he said.
Also, Solademi Oludare, a member of staff of AYM Shafa, appealed for the dualisation of the only existing road to the tank farms.
“The issue of the road is a major challenge in this area. We have eight depots in this environment, if the government can dualise the only access road, we will appreciate it,” he said.
The committee is expected to hold stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday in Benin, the Edo State capital.