Satellite Town Residents in Lagos, recently stoutly rejected the siting of tank farms in the densely residential area created in 1976.
The residents under the auspices of Satellite Town Forum, said the rejection was as a result of safety issues, which the siting of such facility could pose to them.
Speaking through their Chairman, Mr. Governor Imitini, the residents said despite several meetings with all relevant stakeholders, in respect of the project, there was no concrete measure to curtail fire outbreak in the event of its occurrence.
Lamenting that the community, which was once a resident of choice in 1979 has become a slum with failed infrastructure. He further questioned the rationale behind the siting of the farm tanks and proposed tanker parks in the town.
Imitini, who said he has lived in the town for more than 35 years, regretted the absence of basic amenities in the area leading to flooding and bad roads.
He particularly blamed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for their woes, stressing that several meetings held with the agency have yielded no results.
“The community is calling for the relocation of all petroleum depots from Satellite Town to safer areas because of the impending doom which Nigeria, as a developing country cannot handle. The town is home to the Navy Town, where there is an underground armoury. Any fire emanating from the tank farms will lead to a monumental destruction such that 2001 Ikeja Bomb blast will be a child’s play, in comparison”. He stated.
Responding, the Zonal Operations Controller, DPR, Lagos, Mr. Ayorinde Cardoso told The Guardian yesterday that the issue of relocation is a commercial decision that cannot be taken in a hurry. The National Assembly has waded into it and there was an agreement that parties should co-exist, but several things are to be put in place, which all stakeholders are trying to address.
He stressed that DPR alongside other relevant agencies, have had a series of engagements with Satellite Town residents on how to mitigate some of the challenges they are facing.
Cardoso said some of the decisions taken are being implemented by stakeholders, including the Lagos State Government, adding that there are claims that siting such facilities in the area would aid its development.
“Discussions are going on and things are already in motion to meet the demands”. He said.