The recent granting of approval by the federal government and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), in particular has been described as ill-timed, ill-advised and negative to the already stressful life and business in the axis.
Chairperson of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup in an interview, viewed the development as against run of play in allowing other forms of businesses thrive within the Apapa and environ.
She said already, the region is awash with related facilities and the situation had become chaotic and unbearable for all kinds of businesses in the area. So, allowing another tank farm with massive capacity will just lock up the area and make other businesses unmanageable.
The delivery specifications of the emerging tank farm showed that it it going to come with the largest installed capacity of 50 million litres of petroleum products, and would attract about 800 additional trucks per day into the already congested Apapa area.
Dr. Haastrup argued that “It is unheard of that anyone will conceive the idea of setting up a tank farm in Apapa at this time. Government should review this approval so that the problem facing the port community and residents of Apapa is not compounded.”
“There is an over-concentration of oil tank farms in Apapa, which is an area predominantly designed for port operations. There is now a situation where we have proliferation of oil tank farms without regards for the safety and logistics implication.
“Government needs to consider relocating even the existing tank farms out of Apapa and discontinue approval for new ones.
“Tank farms should normally be located several miles away from the city and from the port area for safety reasons.”
While calling for thinking out of the box in Apapa traffic management, STOAN boss argued further on “There is a need to open up the inner roads to allow for free flow of traffic. We also need efficient traffic control measures to allow for free movement of trucks. At present, several cargoes are trapped in the port because of the bad road and the truck queues on the road”.
Earlier in September 2, this year, the Lagos State House of Assembly called on the Federal Government to relocate tank farms from Apapa as a way out of the current gridlock in the area.