The Lagos government has declared 33 tank farms within the state as illegal, saying that only eight out of the 41 tank farms existing within the state had planning permits authorising their establishments.
Consequently, the government gave the tank farm operators one week to commence the method of regularising their facilities by filling the application for Planning Permit.
Speaking at a gathering with tank farm operators at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and concrete Development, Dr. Idris Salako said that almost all of the tank farms within the state had been operating illegally and in variance with Section 27 of the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) regulations 2019.
The commissioner, who explained that the law stipulates that anyone who builds in Lagos State without a Planning Permit commits an offence susceptible to enforcement, imposition of penal fees or removal of structure, said that the state would be forced to enforce the laws on the erring operators.
Expressing displeasure over the event, the commissioner observed that only eight out of the 41 tank farms existing within the state had Planning Permits authorising their establishment.
He emphasised that any area that didn’t start the method of regularisation of its facility after one week would face serious sanctions.
He said: “Considering the importance of the activities of the tank farms to the economy of the country, it’s partinent that they embrace best practices and operate within the most friendly manner to the host communities.”
Salako said that the operations of the tank farms had thrown up many challenges for the state, including pipeline vandalism, environmental degradation, fire outbreaks, traffic jam and destruction of public infrastructure among others.
The commissioner said that the government had chosen to have interaction operators of tank farms to seek out a long-lasting solution, following the challenges posed by the presence of the tank farms which had become a heavy concern.
To ease the challenges, the commissioner maintained that it had been paramount for the tank farms to produce complementary facilities and services like holding bays, traffic personnel furthermore because the maintenance of a buffer zone of 250m to 500m between the farm and therefore the community.