12 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has blamed the Federal Government for the fire disaster at MRS tank farm, Tin Can Island, Lagos on Wednesday, saying, “the disaster shows that the country’s oil and port management are still in their amateur stage.”
This came as the governor called on the Federal Government to immediately remove all tank farms sited in residential areas across the state.
It will be recalled that a petrol barge belonging to the company caught fire and exploded injuring over four persons in the process.
Fashola, who spoke after inspecting the extent of damage caused by the fire at the farm, said: “It is important also to understand that there are different levels of responsibility here.
“The whole of the maritime safety, fuel management, fuel importation, port management and all of that are clearly responsibilities that do not belong to our government.
“They belong to the central government and I want to think that we can do better than this amateurish standard.”
He lamented that the place was not designed for fuel discharge, “but we have converted it through the issuance of all sorts of permits by regulatory agencies, Directorate of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Pipeline Products Marketing Company, PPMC, and all of those people.
“All of these were part of the private jetties when the Tin Can Island was built up to Ibafo. And because the old Apapa became inadequate, the central government decided to convert it. This clearly shows that there was no plan for the future.
“Now we are doing it right in the middle of a residential area which is hazardous to the health of the residents.”