House, NPA Disagree over Approval for Tank Farm Owners

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Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives’ Ad hoc Committee on the need to relocate tank farms from residential areas disagreed yesterday with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on who approved tank farms for Kirikiri and Ijegun areas of Lagos and environs.

Addressing the committee at the investigative hearing, NPA, General Manager, Land and Asset Administration, Mr. Yusuf Ahmed, said they had nothing to do with the approvals.

He said because of the experience of tank farms in Apapa, very few tank farms were given approvals by NPA after 2008 as there was a restriction on such approvals.

He said, “In my view, the problem came about because of lack of synergy between the planning authorities. It would have been better if the Lagos authorities (who were absent) were available to explain how the tank farms came about. We are very careful and we ensure all regulations are done.’’

“My response to those tank farms at Ijegun and Kirikiri, those tank farms 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.’’

Ahmed added that when there was a need to build a tank farms in Lekki Free Trade Zone, NPA had to get a waiver from the federal government.

Responding, the Chairman of the ad-hoc Committee Hon. Sergius Ogun insisted that the organisation in its submissions said they gave the contentious approvals.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Uko Nkole said 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

In his response, Ahmed said at the starting point, that building of the tank farms and collection of necessary licences have nothing to do with the organisation.

He said it is when everything has been concluded and a jetty built that NPA is involved because of the regulation of the 100 metres from the waters, and that is where NPA comes in.

Ruling, the Chairman of the Committee, noted that there is lack of synergy between the Federal Ministry of Environment, Department of Petroleum Resources (NPA) and NPA.