March 15, 2011

Kirikiri residents to tanker drivers: Park and pay N100,000

By Ifeanyi Okolie

In a bid to end the chaotic traffic situation being experienced in Kirikiri Town, residents have ordered petroleum tanker drivers to stop parking their trucks along the major roads and streets of the area, warning that flouting this order would attract a fine of N100, 000. This is also as operators of oil tank farms situated at the Kirikiri waterside have reassured residents of their safety, urging them not to entertain fears as regards possible fire out break in the area.

The residents’ decision on the parking of petroleum tankers was contained in a communiqué of a recent stakeholders meeting which featured community leaders, youths, members of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), oil firms, the Nigerian Navy and the Police. The meeting had agreed that petroleum tankers found parking along any of the streets would be fined the sum of N100, 000, while broken down trucks would then have to pay a more exorbitant fine of N150,000.

High Chief Babalola Shabi, a top community leader, told Vanguard Metro at the end of the communiqué that the community was forced to take the decision over what he described as the imperious attitude of the tanker drives and to ensure that the street are free from petroleum tankers and to ensure the free flow of traffic. “We have reached an agreement with the oil tank farm operators, NUPENG, the Navy and the Police and we all agreed that no more parking along the streets; any truck wanting to load petroleum product should wait outside the community for their turns and not parking along our streets and on the bridge; any truck found doing so will be fined N100, 000 and whoever brings in spoilt vehicle would also pay N150,000. We need to put a stop to this imperious attitude and the decisions must be enforced now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the head of petroleum tank farm operators at Kirikiri, Aljahi Gani Fatai, of Fatgbems Petroleum also told Vanguard Metro that all the oil firms operating at the Kirikiri waterside are working collaboratively to ensure adequate prevention of fire outbreak. “We have installed state-of-the-art fire fighting equipment around our facilities and we have a joint fire fighting team. If there is a fire outbreak, all the fire men from the oil firms would respond collectively.

“Our facilities have been certified by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) before we were given the license to operate. If our fire safety equipment are not the right ones they wouldn’t have certified us as safe. We urge residents not to harbour fear that there would me a massive fire as our facilities are well fortified with fire fighting gadgets,” he assured.