Tony Osauzo, Benin
An NGO, People’s Advocacy Organization of Nigeria (PAON), has raised the alarm over the danger posed by the location of a fuel and gas station along the ever-busy airport road by golf course, traffic light in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The group in a petition seeking to correct the anomaly entitled, “the wanton disregard of town regulation with impunity, location of a fuel and gas station in an inflammable/traffic zone and other town planning abuses that can lead to a gargantuan public disaster”, said the citing of the station was in flagrant disregard and abuse of the guiding town planning laws.
The petition which was jointly signed by Marxist Kola Edokpayi, Speaker, Talakawa Parliament and Convener, Emmanuel Agbogun, was addressed to the Chief of Air Staff, Nigeria Airforce Headquarters, Abuja; Hon Commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Benin and His Royal Majesty, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare 11.
It noted the fuel and gas station was capable of igniting fire disaster if urgent steps are not taken by the relevant authorities.
Part of the petition reads: “We are a Non-Governmental Organization with a core mandate to engender due process in public and private affairs and to ensure the positive development of our society.
“We came across a very worrisome development along Airport Road, by the Golf Course Traffic Light, Benin City where one Andy Mondu and his collaborators without any approval whatsoever from the requisite approving authorities, as at when they started building, have sited a fuel and gas station, at variance with the following extant Regulations.
“That the land upon which the fuel and gas station is situated is measuring 70 feet by 80 feet, which is below the approvable measurement of the Regulations of the Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and also against the extant Regulations of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), for a fuel/gas station.
“That the Benin Airport Transmission line is above the land upon which the Fuel and gas station is situated, which is inflammable, poses a great danger to public and private properties and lives of citizens, is capable of igniting a huge fire disaster that could claim the lives of hundreds of people and is against the extant regulations on the siting of fuel and gas stations, anywhere in Nigeria.
“That the exit of the fuel and gas station is overlooking the traffic which situation is against the Town Planning Regulations and will lead to an incessant traffic logjam and could lead to unwarranted accidents that can lead to the loss of lives on the busy Airport Road, Benin City”.
Besides, the group noted that “the said fuel and gas station is situated less than 500 Metres from the next fuel/gas station- OTOPEC, which is against the extant Regulations of the Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and other Regulatory Authorities.
“That the location of the said fuel and gas station does not meet the minimum requirements of the Edo State Fire and Safety Regulations and those of the Federal Service. That the said fuel and gas station is very close to a church, which is against the extant DPR Regulations on the issue”.
But when contacted yesterday, the owner of the station, Andrew Momodu, debunked the claim of the NGO and said he has approval from both DPR and Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning for the project.