Lagos — Tank farms located at Ijegun, Satellite Town, Lagos play a very pivotal part in petroleum distribution in Nigeria, accounting for 35 percent national petroleum product distribution.
This was revealed in a release by the Ijegun-Egba Tank farm Owners and Operators Association on Monday.
According to them, the tank farms are an integral part of the petroleum product supply chain ensuring product supply, energy stability and energy security, adding that they have played, and will continue to play significant roles in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the nation.
The Association’s response was necessitated following accusation of taxes, charges, and fees evasion by the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning, Dr. Idris Salako.
Dr. Salako had accused the Association of also operating illegally in the state, adding that by their operations, have destroyed infrastructural facilities within their operational areas, threatening to shut down the tank farms.
However, in a response, a release signed by its Secretary, Barr. Eshiet E. Eshiet explained that its members have been committed, and will continue to commit themselves to conduct their business operations in line with best practices, strict adherence to safety rules and regulations, improving the state of infrastructure within their corridor, safeguard lives and property, protect and preserve the environment, as well as maintaining a good business environment.
Taking cognizance of the current bleak global economic outlook occasioned by the pandemic that has brought economic activities to a very low level, with countries across the world focusing on measures to revitalise businesses, through injecting finances and funds to stimulate business activities, stimulate national economic growth, industrial and business development and advancement, the Association argued that it will be counterproductive to shut down or close the Tank farms at Ijegun or at any place. “Any shutdown or closure of Tank farms will result in national economic crisis, energy insecurity, massive unemployment, banking, and financial crisis and the shock in the banking sector will adversely affect other business and commercial activities. These might be difficult for the Nation to bear”.
“With the threat to shut down or close Tank farms we wish to state that our national economy and energy supply, marketing and distribution of petroleum products across the country will be adversely affected, with a resultant unprecedented negative impact on energy security. Scarcity of petroleum products and long queues with attendant impacts on business, movements and safety will resurface in response to the cut in supply chain”.
The Association said its commencement of operations have stimulated economic and commercial activities around the environ and beyond.
“Many small scale businesses have sprang up within the Ijegun axis, attesting to the value chain our operations have added to the business environment, as well as in uplifting the standard of living. Our operations have provided direct and indirect employments and opportunities. Our member companies account for over 2,000 combined direct employments and over 5,000 indirect employments, including indigenes of the community where our facilities are located. Likewise, our operational activities have opened immeasurable business opportunities within our area of operation. This in no small measure has stimulated and improved business cum commercial activities and standard of living”.
It debunked claim that its members have evaded taxes, levies, and fees.
“The Tank farm operations have contributed immensely to National economy by way of revenue through taxes, levies and charges to the Federal and State governments, as well as the local governments where the storage facilities are located”.
“We wish to state that our members pay the following taxes, charges, and fees to the State Government, namely: Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency (LASAA), Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos State Government-PAYEE, Lagos State Government Development Levy, Radio and Television License Fees- Local Government, Land Use Charge, Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, including taxes to the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).”
According to the release, all its members are duly licensed and authorised by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR to operate Petroleum Storage Facilities (Tank farms) at Ijegun and have all requisite permits, licenses from all appropriate agencies of government to construct, own and operate tank farms, as well as engage in oil marketing and petroleum product distribution operations.
“Our member companies have their facilities mostly on the shoreline of the Ojo Creek Channel, with a considerable distance to community houses and were granted title by the Land registry, Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing to use same for industrial and/or commercial purposes. The cluster our members occupy was a wetland, of which rigorous sand filling and shoreline protection were undertaken at great cost, thereafter pilling in line with best practices to sustain the structures thereon.”