Tank farm closure will hurt economy, say operators

Tank farm closure will hurt economy, say operatorsIjegun-Egba Tank Farm Owners and Operators Association has said any move to shut down its members’ tank farms will result in national economic crisis, energy insecurity, massive unemployment, banking and financial crisis.

The association said in a statement that the shock in the banking sector would adversely affect other business and commercial activities.

It said, “With the threat to shut down or close tank farms, we wish to state that our national economy and energy supply, marketing and distribution of petroleum products across the country will be adversely affected, with a resultant unprecedented negative impact on energy security.

“Scarcity of petroleum products and long queues with attendant impacts on business, movements and safety will resurface in response to the cut in supply chain.”

It said its members remained committed to conducting their business operations in line with best practices, strict adherence to safety rules and regulations, and improving the state of infrastructure within their host communities, among others.

The association said, “All our members are duly licensed and authorised by the Department of Petroleum Resources to operate petroleum storage facilities at Ijegun and have all requisite permits, licences from all appropriate agencies of government to construct, own and operate tank farms, as well as engage in oil marketing and petroleum product distribution operations.

“Our member companies have their facilities mostly on the shoreline of the Ojo Creek Channel, with a considerable distance to community houses and were granted title by the Land registry, Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing to use same for industrial and/or commercial purposes.

“The cluster our members occupy was a wetland, of which rigorous sand filling and shoreline protection were undertaken at great cost, thereafter pilling in line with best practices to sustain the structures thereon.

The association said when the Lagos State government recently asked its members to submit documentations for regularisation, they all complied.

“But to our greatest shock, each company is arbitrarily charged approximately N300,000,000.00. With the present global economic outlook, this is outrageous and a big strain on our members,” it added.

According to the operators, the tank farms at Ijegun, Satellite Town, Lagos play a very pivotal part in petroleum distribution in Nigeria, accounting for 35 per cent national petroleum product distribution.

“Our member companies have contributed immensely in ensuring energy stability and energy security in the nation, and always rose to the occasion in ensuring efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products to avoid scarcity of products,” the association said.

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