By Cynthia Alo
LAGOS—-RESIDENTS of Satellite Town in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State have issued a five-year ultimatum to the Federal and Lagos State governments and other relevant agencies to relocate all tank farms in the area as such heavy investment has put the area in a deplorable state.
The residents accused the Federal Government, Nigeria Port authorities, Department of Petroleum Resources, Lagos State Ministry of Environment of issuing licenses for more container terminals in the community.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting, Chairman of the Satellite Town Forum, Mr Governor Imitini noted that existing tank farms in the area generate over 450 tanker activity per day in the narrow road meant for the residents.
Imitini argued that the indiscriminate parking of trucks along the narrow roads has resulted in rising deaths in accidents, fire outbreaks, flooding, gridlock, and the collapse of the road.
He said: “The government should not give approval for additional tank farms or container terminal in Ijegun-Egba/Satellite town area. Ijegun Egba is not a port but rather a strictly residential area and as such, lacks the super road network and other compelling infrastructures to carry the heavy axle vehicle. There are more befitting alternative locations and given that Lagos has a vast coastal land most of which are yet sparsely populated.
“We are giving a maximum of five years to relocate the existing investment in the area because the community is no longer safe for lives and properties. The emergence of new tank farms and container terminals in the area have not only forced many to close down their businesses, sell their lands for peanuts and relocate but has increased flooding arising from blockage of natural drainage submerging of houses, environmental pollution, 24hour traffic gridlock, conversion of community roads to parks and mechanic workshops and fire outbreaks.”
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On the ultimatum, Imitini charged the government to seek an end to the situations at hand saying, “Before the relocation, there is a need for the construction of befitting drainage stretching from various positions in the community to the river to accommodate the high volume of flood in the community,
“Also, the removal of tank farm facilities sited on direct flood channels, dualization of Marwa road, construction of four alternative roads to lead residents off the central roads normally taken over by tankers and trailers, provision of safety facilities including, a well equipped ultra-modern fire service in the neighbourhood, provision of towing equipment that could easily remove broken down tankers from the roads, strict regular inspection of tankers plying the routes and safety bays in the community for ease of evacuation in case of fire incidents.”
Also speaking, a member of the forum, Mr Tony Ohakwe supported the need for the relocation of the tank farm in the area.
He said that most tank farms in the area are situated less than 100 meters to the residents and as such highly disastrous.
Ohakwe said: “Tank farms are supposed to be 100 meters away from the residents but not so in our community. We want the tank farm operators to build fire points well equipped with a water to quench unexpected fire outbreaks; our youths should be re-empowered to fight the fire. If there must be tank farm and container terminals in satellite town, there must be a solution to existing menace caused by tank farm activities in the area.”