After examining impact of tank farm relocation on Nigeria’s economy, the country’s National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has warned that hasty relocation of oil depots sited within residential communities in Lagos and other parts of the country would affect Nigeria economy.
NNPC stated that relocation of these facilities along Ijegun, Kirikiri areas in Lagos and other parts of the country from its current locations would only have less impact on Nigeria’s economy when the refineries have been fully rehabilitated and Dangote refinery at Lekki Free Zone (LFZ), Lagos completed.
The Managing Director of the corporation, Mele Kyari, gave the advice on Wednesday when he appeared before House of Representatives’ Ad-hoc committee on Relocation of Tank Farms in Residential Areas of Ijegun, Kirikiri axis of Lagos.
Kyari, represented by the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer, Umar Ajiya, told the committee chaired by Sergius Ogun, that the tank farms were a major artery for receiving and distribution of imported petroleum products in the country.
He noted that their abrupt relocation could trigger a crisis not only in the Downstream Sector but also in the nation’s economy in general.
The GMD, in a statement signed by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, argued that the corporation was not against the tank farms relocation but some time be allowed for completion of other components to aid the plan.
“We are not opposed to the yearnings of the communities or to relocation of the tank farms, but we want it to be done in phases because of the huge financial commitments by the stakeholders. If they relocate them abruptly, even the banking sector would be affected because of the loans they granted for establishment of the depots”, the GMD added.
Earlier, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajiabiamila, after inaugurating the committee set up on sequel to a petitions by the residents of Ijegun, Kirikiri and others areas in Lagos State on the dangers posed by the operations of depots to their respective communities, disclosed that the aim behind the move was to investigate the concerns expressed by the residents to have a fair assessment of the situation.
Gbajiabiamila, represented by the House Deputy Minority Leader, Tobi Okechukwu, acknowledged that tank farms were a critical part of the Downstream Petroleum Sector and assured that the House would look at the issue and take a stance.