The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has re-opened petroleum products depots in the Ijegun-Egba area of Satellite Town sealed by the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, AASPPA, stating that the agency has no powers to carry out such action.
The eight depots shut by AASPPA recently are: Wosbab Energy Solutions, Emadeb Energy Services Ltd., Mao Petroleum Ltd., Menj Oil Ltd., Oceanpride Energy Services Ltd., A.A. Rano Nigeria Ltd., AIPEC Oil and Gas Ltd. and First Royal Oil Ltd.
Ordering the immediate re-opening of the depots in a statement, the Zonal Operations Controller of DPR, Lagos Zone, Ayorinde Cardoso, said the facilities were carrying out essential services and that tampering with their operations could trigger fuel shortage.
Moreover, according to him, the oil and gas business was under the exclusive legislative list as provided for in the 1999 Constitution, saying this exempts the sector from the authority of LASPPA and other state government agencies.
Emphasising that sealing of the tank farms could lead to disruption in the supply of petroleum products, Cardoso stated that that Ijegun-Egba has 13 tank farm operators which receive between 35 and 40 per cent of petroleum products which comes to Lagos before being transported to other areas.
DPR said in its statement: “We were told that LASPPPA sealed the depots today (Monday) for not having their planning permits.
“We don’t believe that is the right approach because these people are providing service to the nation and if you disrupt that service, there will be fuel scarcity everywhere.
“This is why we are taking proactive action to immediately reopen the tank farms and if LASPPPA has any issue with the operators, they should come to us to see how it can be resolved.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Assembly is endowed with exclusive power to execute on any item on the exclusive list. Arising from those constitutional powers the National Assembly enacted the Petroleum Act
“This act regulates all matters relating to petroleum such as importation, handling, storage, distribution of petroleum and petroleum products and other flammable oils.
“It also provides the granting of a licence to import, handle, store, sell, distribute any petroleum product in Nigeria.”
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