, Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning, depots operators on collision course
The threat to shutdown 14 tankfarms in Ijegun area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, by state Commissioner for Physical Planning, Dr. Idris Salako, will cause fuel scarcity, tankfarms’ operators have said.
Salako and the operators in the state have earlier bickered over the commissioner’s threat to shutdown the tankfarms.
The commissioner had during a Stakeholders Meeting on Friday 20th September 2020 regarding the operations of Tankfarms in Lagos State, alleged that the tankfarms were violating extant laws on environment and physical Planning in Lagos, threatening to shut them down.
Reacting to the allegations and the threat, 14 operators of the tankfarms in Lagos, declared that Salako was economical with the truth based on all his allegations.
“He stated that our members were operating illegally in Lagos State, that our members do not pay any taxes, charges or fees to the Lagos State Government and that our members have, by their operations, destroyed infrastructural facilities within their operational areas. The Hon Commissioner also threatened to immediately shut down Tankfarms,” the tankfarms operators declared in a statement issued by their secretary, Barrister Eshiet E. Eshiet, at the weekend.
“These statements have, to say the least, painted the operators of Tankfarms in very bad light, hence the need to make some clarifications in respect of our members operations. As an umbrella organization of all the Oil Companies currently engaged in the operation of Petroleum Storage Tankfarms and Facilities at Ijegun – Egba, Satellite Town, Lagos, along the Ojo Creek Channel, to wit: A.A. RANO Nigeria Limited, AIPEC Oil & Gas Limited, Bond Global Energy Projects Limited, Chipet International Limited, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, First Royal Oil Nigeria Limited, MAO Petroleum Company Limited, Menj Oil Limited, Ocean Pride Energy Services Limited, Stallionaire Nigeria Limited, Star Synergy Petroleum Services Limited, Wosbab Energy Solutions Limited and Rainoil Limited.
“The Association wishes to restate our members’ commitment to contributing to government’s effort in building a robust business environment to stimulate economic growth.”
Stating that it “very sad and embarrassing for the Hon Commissioner to publicly say that the Tankfarms do not pay taxes, charges and fees to the Lagos State Government,” Eshiet maintained that all the b14 tankfarms operators have duly paid their taxes and even spent millions of naira on Corporate Social Responsibility Investments in Lagos.
“The Tankfarm 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. Regarding payments to Lagos State Government, 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; and Land Use Charge.
“Others are Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority8.Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources; and Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
“From the above mentioned payments, it very sad and embarrassing for the Hon Commissioner to publicly say that the Tankfarms do not pay taxes, charges and fees to the Lagos State Government. The Tankfarms are an integral part of petroleum product supply chain in ensuring product supply, energy stability and energy security. Tankfarms have played and will continue to play significant roles in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the nation.
“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 revitalize businesses, through injecting finances and funds to stimulate business activities, stimulate national economic growth, industrial and business development and advancement, it will be counter-productive to shut down or close the Tankfarms at Ijegun or at any place.
“Any shut down or closure of Tankfarms will result in national economic crisis, energy insecurity, massive unemployment, banking and financial crisis and the shock in the banking sector will adversely affects other business and commercial activities. These might be difficult for the Nation to bear.
“With the threat to shut down or close Tankfarms 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. All our members are committed to conducting their business operations in line with best practices, strict adherence to safety rules and regulations, improving the state of infrastructure within our corridor, safeguard life and property,” the tankfarm operators said.