The Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations (SSACTAC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) branch and the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) have called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency relocate petroleum product tank farms away from the port environment to protect lives and property.
In a separate interview with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, the President of SSACTAC NPA branch, Comrade Omeiza Umar, said that the Federal Government should relocate the farms to a place like Snake Island and other Islands where the activities of the operators won’t affect the wellbeing of the people.
Umar said, “We will be glad if government can relocate or ask tank farm operators to site their farms outside residential and commercial areas, they should go to places that when there is explosion, it won’t affect the activities of the people.
“Lives and properties of Nigerians should not be at the mercy of tank farm operators; so we stakeholders are worried about the proliferations of tank farms around the port area.”
Umar had earlier said that no amount of safety measures put in place will be able to contain explosion that comes from tank farms, saying Apapa is sitting on a keg of gunpowder waiting to explode.
On his part, Chairman of the Tin Can Island Chapter of RTEAN, Alhaji Isiaka Olalere, also attributed traffic gridlocks and the numerous wastes of man hours on the busy Oshodi-Apapa expressway to the concentration of tank farms in the area.
He said before tank farms were built in the area, there were no traffic gridlocks on the road.
His words: “In the past when there were no tank farms around Apapa, there were no traffic gridlocks on the road but now if you count, you will see nothing less than 45 tank farms from Berger Cement down to Apapa and all of these tank farms use tankers to lift their products. How then do we expect the roads to be free?
“Though these various farms have truck terminals but tankers can’t stay in their terminals to load fuel. For instance if ASCON Petroleum is to load 50 tankers today, MRS 50, Integrated 50 etc, that is about 250 tankers on the road in a day. How do we expect the road to be free?
“So the relocation of tank farms will bring about relative peace to the road. We have been here before all these tank farms were brought to this place and there were no problem.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY had earlier reported that some residents of Apapa had last week asked the Federal Government to relocate the tank farms because of the danger it posed to the community.
The residents were reacting to the January 8 petrol tanker accident which claimed about 20 Lives at the Berger Cement end of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway.
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