The Lagos State Government yesterday disclosed that it had initiated talks with the federal government on how to relocate oil tank farms from the residential areas of the Apapa Central Business District.
The state government also disclosed that it had stopped granting approval for the construction of filling stations in all parts of the state until the inventory of the existing ones was concluded.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Abiola Anifowose, made the disclosure at an annual ministerial press briefing to mark the second anniversary of the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday.
The briefing, which was organised under the auspice of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, was attended by the Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs. Yetunde Onabolu and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Bola Dapo-Thomas.
Anifowose specifically said the state government had been working with the federal governments on the challenges the location of oil tank farms posed to the residents of Apapa.
He noted that the two governments would make a definite pronouncement on the plan to relocate oil tank farms from the residential areas of the Apapa Central Business District.
Aside, he said the state government “has placed embargo on approval for construction of filling stations in all parts of the state until we carry out the inventory of the existing ones, noting that the state government would soon end indiscriminate construction of event centres.”
Anifowose said this decision was imperative “to take proper inventory of the existing filling stations and determine those that should be removed in a bid to ensure public safety.”
He explained the oil spillage that happened in Alimosho, noting that it “was because of pipeline vandalism. If people have not been greedy to vandalise pipeline, we will not be seeing what is happening.
But be rest assured that no permit for filling station in Lagos State till further notice. I have told the General Manager of the concerned agency; the management team of the agency has taken a decision. We will not grant any approval until we take inventory and see what we have.”
Anifowose also warned owners of structures under high tension cables to relocate in their best interest as government would spare no effort in removing such illegal structures, adding that event centres illegally located would also be demolished.
“When this government came on board, what we did was that we set up a committee and they are going round the State to take inventory of event centres. I like to state categorically that any development that does not comply with the Master Plan of the area of location will be removed. So, our agency is already working on it and they should be able to give us report in the next three to four weeks.”
Due to proactive steps and reforms initiated, he said the state government had achieved considerable reduction in building collapse, noting that it was still an offence to carry out any physical developments in any part of the state without approval or permit.
The commissioner therefore urged all Lagos residents “to partner with the state government in reporting illegal developments and developers or owners of buildings who cut corners and use substandard materials in construction work.
“It is considered a necessity that prospective buyers or tenants should demand for the planning permit or layout approval of a building or estate respectively before down payments is made, to deter developers or owners from circumventing the law.”