Mr Sergius Ogun, Chairman, National Assembly ad hoc committee on relocation of tank farms, said tank farms sited in high density areas may be relocated for safety of lives and properties.
Ogun made the remark on Wednesday in Port Harcourt during a three days tour of tank farms in Port Harcourt zone of the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR).
He said that though some of the old depots existed before the areas became so high in population, the truth remained that in current situation, one must give way for another on line with DPR operational safety guidelines.
“Definitely, one can relocate. During the stakeholders meeting tomorrow, we’re going to have the urban and physical planing department of the state to make professional imputs on this.
“We did same in Calabar, Lagos and other zones, we will replicate same here. Today, in one of the tank farms TSL in Markoba community, we noticed relatively high population density.
“Yes, this is a very good facility but its location is not too good, we heard this is an industrial area so it’s possible residents came in after the full establishment of this facility,” he said.
Ogun said that if relocation stands as the only solution to safety, it might be the industry that may relocate.
“This decision is going to form a major focus of our reports,” he said.
The lawmakers also lamented poor synergy amongst sister agencies.
“We have NIMASA, NPA, Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Fire Service but from our findings in course of this tour, there are issues which we may necessarily not discuss here but at the stakeholders meeting.
“We look forward to working with these agencies so that their reports will assist committee review and make recommendations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Bassey Nkanga, Port Harcourt Zonal Operations Controller of the DPR, has assured on safety of all operating tank farms under his jurisdiction.
“Today marked the end of the lawmakers sight visit on tank farms under Port Harcourt zone.
“I can assure you that the depots are safe to operate even though there are technical lapses that have been observed.
“Like I have always said, in DPR we are not mere fault finders, all lapses have been identified during our audit and they shall be corrected.
“We’re in close working relationship with all depot facilities here and all observation would be appropriately communicated to the operators while we give a time frame for which to ensure corrections,” he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz