Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained what needs to be done in bringing a lasting solution to the lingering disagreement between owners of petroleum tank farms in Ijegun-Egba area of Amuwo- Odofin and the residents of the host community.
The governor said all the Federal Government’s regulatory agencies operating in the area must stop working at cross purposes with the state’s agencies in addressing environmental degradation in the area.
He added that the tank farm owners and tanker drivers must also subscribe to operational regulations that limit the loading of tankers beyond their weight capacities.
Sanwo-Olu said the agitation by members of the host community for the relocation of the tank farms may be far from being over if stakeholders failed to come to the discussion table and work collaboratively.
The governor spoke on Thursday at the State House, Marina, when he received members of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the relocation of tank farms constituted by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila with the mandate to investigate the matter and make recommendations.
The ad-hoc committee members, led by the chairman, Sergius Ogun, representing Esan North-East/Esan South-East federal constituency of Edo State, had initially gone on a two-day inspection to Ijegun before sharing the findings with the governor.
Sanwo-Olu said the regeneration of Ijegun-Egba was as important to the community residents as smooth transportation of petroleum products was important to the tank farms’ owners. He said the nation could not afford to allow the host community’s agitation to hinder the operations of the tank farms, which, he said, supply 45 percent of petroleum products consumed in the country.
“The Ijegun-Egba tank farms are strategic national assets created by the private sector to serve the whole country. Between 40 to 45 percent of the entire petroleum products that go across the country pass through that corridor. Even if it is to cater for our own need, we must take care of those assets, because they are like a strategic reserve for us as a nation,” he said.
Speaking on the committee’s finding, Ogun pointed to the inability of the Federal Government’s agencies to work collaboratively with the Lagos State government as part of the reasons the community’s agitation festered.
He promised that the house would prevail on the federal agencies to close ranks with stakeholders and bring about lasting solutions.