An explosion on Wednesday killed more than 15 people
Some residents on Sunday appealed to the Federal Government and the Lagos State Governments to urgently relocate tank farms, currently sited within residential areas in the Apapa neighbourhood of Lagos.
They made the plea in separate interviews in Lagos, while reacting to the January 8 petrol tanker accident in Apapa, which killed not less than 15 people.
The Manager of Beachland Estate, Apapa, Gbenga Egunjobi, said tank farms were not supposed to be located within residential areas. He said that most of the tank farms were built long after the construction of the estate and other residential buildings.
Mr. Egunjobi called for the immediate relocation of tank farms from residential and port areas, saying that many people, including workers and residents, had experienced explosions from the tank farms.
“I advise government to relocate the tank farms from the residential areas because tank farms are supposed to be at least 25 kilometres away from where people are residing. It is only in Nigeria where tank farms are situated within residential areas. They are too close for comfort and we want government to yield to our call,” he said.
A Marine Consultant, Alex Brain, said that there was need for tank farm operators to be extra vigilant, while upholding safety measures because of the volatile environment they operated in. He said that tank farm operators ought to be security conscious because of the volatile nature of their environment.
“The tank farms are a disaster; there is no security of lives and properties. Government should urgently relocate tank farms from residential areas so that we can have some measure of peace and security,” he said
Besides, Rasaq Fadipe, the Director, Lagos State Fire Service, urged the Federal Government to relocate the tank farms from Apapa to other parts of Lagos.
Mr. Fadipe said that the tank farms were highly combustible, adding that any slightest fire could snowball into a serious disaster. He said that the Apapa neighbourhood was choked right now, stressing the need to relocate tank farms in the area to fallow lands.
“We have lands in the Ibeju-Lekki and Badagry axis, if the tank farms are relocated to such areas, it will open up development in those places,”’ he said.
A geologist, Gladys Timothy, said that the tank farms located around the ports were very dangerous.
“I want to believe that our leaders who allowed that do visit other countries. If they are sincere, they will tell Nigerians the truth that tank farms are not located in densely populated areas,” she said.
Ms. Timothy rejected the notion that there was no better alternative to the current location of the tank farms, saying that the Badagry waterways could accommodate the facility.
“There are other places that are suitable for the tank farms. Whether the government has invested much in their current site or not; we are talking about the safety of Nigerians,” she said.