Tank farms: NNPC not opposed to Lagos communities’ concerns- Kyari
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says it is not opposed to concerns expressed by communities along Ijegun, Kirikiri areas in Lagos and other parts of the country where the tank farms are located.
Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, stated this at a hearing by the House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc Committee on a petition over the Relocation of Tank Farms in Residential Areas filed by residents of Ijegun, Kirikiri and others areas in Lagos State.
The petition which was earlier submitted to the House of Reps bothered on the dangers posed by the operations of depots and tank farms to their respective communities, a statement by the corporation’s Spokesman, Dr Kennie Obateru, said.
At the hearing, Kayi advised against a swift relocation of tank farms from their current locations in order to avoid a dislocation in the supply and distribution chain of petroleum products across the country.
The NNPC boss asked for more time to achieve the full rehabilitation of the refineries and the completion of the Dangote Refinery to enable the nation exit fuel importation before their relocation.
Represented by the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Umar Ajiya, he told the committee that the tank farms and depots were a major artery for receiving and distributing imported petroleum products to all parts of the country.
He added that their abrupt relocation could trigger a crisis not only in the downstream sector but also in the nation’s economy in general.
“We are not opposed to the yearnings of the communities or the relocation of the tank farms and depots, but we want it to be done in phases because of the huge financial commitments by the stakeholders. If they are relocated abruptly, even the banking sector would be affected because of the loans they granted for the establishment of the depots”, Kyari said.
Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajiabiamila, said the Ad-hoc Committee was set up to investigate the concerns expressed by the residents in order to have a fair assessment of the situation.
Gbajiabiamila, who was represented by the House Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Tobi Okechukwu, acknowledged that tank farms and depots were a critical component of the Downstream Petroleum Sector and assured that the House would look at the issue holistically and make a decision in the public interest.
He decried the inability of the NNPC to distribute petroleum products through the pipelines due to incessant vandalism which has made products distribution by tankers over long distances a hazard to the society.