By Cynthia Alo
Residents of Ijegun-Egba under the aegis of Satellite Town forum, (STF) have expressed displeasure over the deplorable conditions of the community.
The residents who expressed their grievance to a member of the Ad-hoc committee Hon Oghene Egoh representing Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency, who was in the company of other house members and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) during oversight function.
It was learnt that this is coming a year after the residents of the community under the aegis of Satellite town forum, (STF) issued a five-year ultimatum to the federal government, Lagos State government, DPR and other agencies to relocate tank farms from the community.
Addressing the residents, Egoh expressed assurance to the community that he is working with the Federal Ministry of Works to bring a lasting solution to the menace caused by tank farm operations in the community.
He further stated that he had moved a motion on the floor of the House of Representatives for the relocation of tank farms and gas plants from satellite town community.
According to him, human lives should be prioritised despite the huge investment. The inspection was followed by a reading of the findings at Victoria Island to further actions. The findings were read to a house comprising the DPR, Nigerian Maritime Agency for Safety and Administration (NIMASA) and industry stakeholders.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, House of Reps, Ad-hoc Committee, Sergius Ogun, said there were obvious questions that the house needed to put before the approving agencies, adding that the communities want more Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, “the tank operators have told us that they have done so much.”
The chairman further explained that they have informed the operators to present what they have done so far while stating that they would also engage with the Lagos State Government.
According to him, “The tank farm operators pay tax, so it is going to be a collaboration between the State, federal, operators and the community. If we all collaborate, the business can live side by side with human beings and that is why we are insisting on safety.
“We have told the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to give us the safety audit because they claim they have the safety audit. We are insisting that operators must carry out everything in the recommendation.
“We believe the community can live side by side with tank farm operators. We have come here to establish that the agencies can work well with the operators and the communities. If anything happens to the Ijegun and Kirikiri tank farms today, it is going to cut off 35 per cent supply of petroleum products in this country. This situation concerns all of us.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of STF, Mr Micheal Imitini, expressed dissatisfaction of the unpleasant conditions of the community, stating that the residents have not benefitted much in terms of development and CSR activities from the tank farm operators.
“We are saying that they must relocate their tank farms from this area. I don’t care whether they spent billions, human lives should be prioritised as the area remains a residential area.”
He alleged that the NNPC, DPR sneaked into the community through the water to commission a new gas plant.
Imitini further charged government to take action now before what happened at Ochaja Market Onitsha, Abule Ado and Beirut befall the community while insisting that they would involve legal actions once they fail to get positive responses from the relevant agencies.
The inspection was done on Kirirkiri gas plants and Ijegun which comprise of Fatgbems Petroleum Company Ltd, Techno Gas, Bovas and Company Limited, Swift Oil, Techno Oil, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, Wosbab Energy, Index Petroleum Africa, A.A Rano, Rainoil, MenjOil and Chisco Oil among other.