By Cynthia Alo
The Lagos State Government has inaugurated a 23-man committee to tackle the environmental hazards caused by tank farm activities in Satellite town, Amuwo-Odofin local government of Lagos.
The Committee made up of Satellite Town Forum, the umbrella body of Oriade Local Council Development Area, LCDA, and the Tank Farm Owners and Operators, is expected to oversee the control of traffic, proper drainage system, proper disposal of waste among others in the area which comprises Ijegun, Alakija, Abule-Ado, Abule-Oshun, Oriade, among others, as part of remedial action against the havoc emanating from tank farm activities in the area.
Speaking at the inauguration of the committee in Lagos, representative of the Lagos State Government under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral resources, Toyin Adebogun, said the government would ensure that tank farm operators work in line with laid down rules and regulations.
Adebogun said: “Today, I have been given the mandate to inaugurate the committee set up to work for the progress of this area and I must say that I am very happy that this is happening because the government is here to give a level playing ground between the operators and the residents of this environment. We will also ensure that the tank farm operators do what they need to do on their own part”.
The newly inaugurated members include Mr. Michael Imitimi (chairman), Mr. Sylvester Okedigbo, (Secretary), Ifemuyiwa Kunle, Ibrahim Mohammad, Bartholomew Uzoma, Ishmael Zakaria, Fred Idahosa, Uche Nnanna, Wale Ali, Michael Onasile, Sunday Adeoye, Mr. Eshiet Eshiet, Stephen Ojo, Ndubisi Okafor, and Kamal Akorede.
Others are Maria Akinsote(for youths)., Juliet Ashibogwu, Emmanuel Onuorah, Nwakaego Uhegbu, Benson Akiro, Irosa Imade, L. K. Ezeoke, Olayinka Adeniyi, and Tony Ohakwe
Secretary of Tank Farm Owners and Operators, Mr Eshiet Eshiet, said operators are aware of the havoc caused by tank farm activities in the area but stressed that there are limits to what they could do in the community.
Eshiet said: “We are aware of the challenges facing the community including a deficit in infrastructure; bad road and poor drainage system, but the community must know our constraints.
“We pay taxes and fulfil all laid down conditions. There are certain things that we are not supposed to do but we have found ourselves in this situation and we must do. We are aware of the flooding in the area and there is an on-going construction of channels to channel water to Liverpool lagoon.
“The operators have embarked on a short, medium and long term road construction. Also mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that the challenges of bad road and gridlock are combated because we understand that for every business to flourish, there must be a cordial relationship between the business and its surroundings, and I must commend the tank farm owners for understanding this cordial relationship by fulfilling their corporate social responsibility.”
Chairman of Satellite Town Forum, Mr Michael Imitini, disclosed that the negotiation on tank farm disaster in the area has been on since 2014 noting that they had written many letters to different agencies concerning it.
‘’In one of our petitions to the federal government, the President heard our cry and sent for the state government to look into the issue. Today, we have a representative of the government from the Ministry to inaugurate the committee. We are setting up this committee to look into tank farm activities and the community,’’ he said.
According to him, the tank farms are close to houses and are built on the natural water channels thereby causing flooding of the environment, submerging of houses, fire outbreaks, loss of lives and properties among others.
He urged the committee to work earnestly for the good of the community and not use the opportunity to extort or embezzle money.
Commenting on the development, Chairman of Oriade Local Council Development Area, Mrs Ramota Akinola, said that it was a great step to better the community but frowned at the recklessness of tanker drivers in the area stating that they contribute more to the havoc in the community and must be cautioned.