Residents of Satellite Town, in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, have petitioned the Federal Government, over indiscriminate siting of tank farms and container terminals in the area.
The residents, who spoke on the sidelines of a panel review meeting on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed bulk petroleum products depot projects at Ijegun-Egba, by an indigenous oil company, expressed concern that proliferation of tank farms, container terminals and bonded warehouses in Satellite Town would be a disaster in the densely populated area.
Representing Satellite Town Forum, Mr. Governor Imitini, who is also the chairman, said not only are the tank farms capable of exploding, their activities have made life unbearable for residents.
Imitini said it was sad for the community, which stretches from Alakija to Abule Ado, along the Lagos/Badagry Expressway, and the waterside area and beyond, to forfeit an area of about half a kilometre to over 12 tank farms.
According to him, in a day, over 400 tankers, loaded with petrol, are trapped on the single narrow road, as fuel leaks from the trucks create panic among the residents.
He said: “The operation of these tank farms is an impending disaster. This is in addition to the bonded terminal at Alakija, with its unending fleet of trucks.
“To worsen the plight of residents is another container terminal being constructed in Zone 2, Liverpool Estate, to add to the tank farms in the same vicinity.
“The location of these facilities, in this densely populated residential area, without due consideration for residents, closeness to residential areas, and provision of alternative vehicular routes and adequate facilities, has negatively impacted Satellite Town community.
“We must respectfully send this Save-Our-Soul to President Muhammadu Buhari, the ministers of Petroleum Resources, Environment, Works and Transportation; as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Ports Authority; to come to our aid as we are dying gradually.
“Several residential buildings have been submerged by flood water, especially whenever it rains. Many landlords and tenants have abandoned their homes as a result. There is increasing environmental pollution, due to the waste being dumped by these tank farms as well as, oil spill in stagnant polluted water, and dampness. We are also facing threats of epidemic.”
Imitini urged the federal government to stop approval of new tank farms in the area and, at the same time, called for construction of temporary tanker and trailer parks (pending their relocation)
“They should, in the meantime, operate from a park. They should not be on the road at the same time; they should be operating on call basis. Location of well-equipped ultra modern fire service in the neighbourhood is also paramount,” he noted.
Satellite Town Forum also called for “provision of towing equipment that could easily remove broken down tankers from the roads. Strict regular inspection of tankers plying the route and demobilisation of tankers and trailers that are not road worthy. Many tankers leak products on the road which scares the residents and cause stampede.”
Furthermore, the Forum called for “safety bays in the community, for ease of evacuation, in case of fire incidents.”
The Forum chairman also stated that all government agencies should plan well before approving location of facilities in areas to avoid ugly situations in future.