The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on the relocation of tank farms from residential areas has tasked tank farms operators in Calabar on effective safety management of their facilities.
Chairman of the Committee, Mr Sergius Ogun, said this last week in Calabar when he led other members of the committee and the Department of Petroleum Resources on an oversight visit to tank farms in Calabar.
Ogun explained that their visit was to inspect the tank farms and to ensure that they are in compliance with Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) guidelines in the setting up of tank farms.
“We are in Calabar to see the tank farms and to ensure that they are in compliance with DPR guidelines in setting up a tank farm. In an environment like this, you don’t expect 100 per cent compliance, if there was, they wont be any need for us to come here.
“But in any case, from what we have seen here, we have a stakeholders meeting tomorrow where all the Chief Executive Officers of tank farms operators will be there and we should be able to analyse the non compliance and give them a timeline.
“They are issues they have to take care of and when they don’t comply, then we will begin to talk about sanctions.
“If they comply with DPR standard, there may be no need to relocate them, but when they don’t comply, we will look into that because we have said you can’t expose people to danger unnecessarily,” he said.
According to him, safety issues can easily be human right issues, adding that if there is an explosion that will consume the entire community, it goes beyond an accident.
“So, let’s see how far we will go with analysing what we have seen and we will bring out clearly the non-compliance issue and then take it up from there,” he added.
Speaking, Mr Bassey Nkanga, Zonal Operations Controller of DPR, Portharcourt Zone, said they just completed a technical audit of all depot facilities in the tank farm.
Bassey explained that the technical audit was carried out with a view to ensure a certain level of compliance from the tank farms operators.
“From what we observed, some of them have already started closing out on the issue raised while for others, the issues are still pending.
“In most cases, we have given them feedback letters asking them to correct the lapses observed within a stipulated framework which if they fail to do, their license will not be renewed.
“What we observed today is that there are still some lapses but some others have made efforts to correct the lapses observed when we came for the technical audit,” he said.
The committee visited the NNPC tank farm, Mainland Oil and Gas, Newcore International Energy Limited, VSG Global Energy, Blueflame Petroleum Limited, Alkanes Petroleum Limited and Azman Oil and Gas.