Speaking through Mr. Leke Oyewole, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime, the government, who gave the directive at an interactive forum in Lagos, said that the tank farms should be relocated to the hinterland.
He said that the relocation would help to avoid further fire disaster in the area.
The senior special assistant said that it was dangerous for tank farms to continue to be at the Apapa port.
He said there were large expanse of lands in Mosimi, Ejigbo, Kwara, Ibadan and Ore that could be developed for tank farm owners.
“The development of tank farms close to the ports is a dangerous trend. Recently a family escaped disaster when fire engulfed their house. Imagine, if the tank farm around the house had been affected, the whole of Apapa would have been on fire. NPA should look at developing places where tank farm owners can relocate. They can properly utilise the area,” Oyewole said.
On security, he commended the Nigeria Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, for ensuring security on the seas.
He said that the agencies understood that the security responsibility of NIMASA was to defend and not to carry guns or attack pirates.
He said that government was mapping out other strategies to ensure that security at off shore was improved.
On the role of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council,NSC, as a regulator, Oyewole appealed to the stakeholders not to allow their political interests to jeopardise national development.
He promised that the government would deal appropriately with any of its agencies found collecting money from maritime operators at the ports.