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Reps decry building of residential houses near Tank Farms

The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee has expressed displeasure over the construction of residential buildings near the location of Tank Farms in some parts of Delta.

Its Chairman, Rep. Sergius Ogun, made the assertion during the committee’s oversight function visit to some Tank Farms in Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government and Koko, Warri North Local Government Areas of Delta.

Ogun said that the committee was constituted on March 19, following the House resolution on a motion entitled:

“Need to Relocate Tank Farms from the Residential areas of Ijegun, Kirikiri and others” to ensure safety of lives and property.

He said that the committee was saddled, among others, with the responsibilities to investigate activities of such farms across the country.

According to him, we are not playing with safety; safety is a major issue.

“From what we have seen so far here, we are not satisfied; because, if there is any explosion, it can consume the whole community.

“Though, they have put some measures in place, but we are still not satisfied with what we have seen on ground.

“There is definitely room for improvement, and they have not told us that there is no room for improvement.

“Together with the DPR, NPA, NIMASA and Federal Fire Service, we will have a stakeholders meeting with the Tank Farms Owners on Thursday in Benin City.

“There we will unveil to them all they need to do,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Antai Asuquo, the Operations Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Warri Zonal Office reacted.

Asuquo advised Town Planners against granting approval for the construction of residential buildings around the  Tank farms.

He said that the regulatory agency would continue to play its statutory roles by carrying out periodic safety audit on Tank Farms every six month to avoid fire disaster.

“Town Planning Authority which has not been granted approval for the citing of a tank farm should not grant approval for the natives to build houses closed to the Tank farms.

“Though, it is their land, they should maintain some reasonable distances away from the Tank farms to avert any incidence.

“On our part as a regulatory agency, we will continue to carry out periodic safety audit on Tank farms every six month to ensure they are safe and can operate peacefully.

“That is why we have not had terrible incidence so far; we have been able to manage the situation to a very large extent,” he said.

Asuquo said that Tank farms owners went through due process before they were given approval to operate.

“Before a Tank Farm is licenced, there are processes: it must go through Fire Service Certification, Police reports, Town Planning Authority to known that the place is suitable to site the business, among others,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the farms visited included: INT Tower’s Limited, Coastal Consult,Taurus Oil & Gas, Optima Energy Group and Ebenco Global Link Limited, in Koko, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta.

Others were: Prudent Energy, Frado International, Renoir Logistics, Nepal Oil, Cybernetics Oil and Rainoil all in Oghara, the Administrative Headquarters of Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta.

READ ALSO: Tank-Farm Explosion: We Will Not Spare Culprits – Jime

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