Amidst worries that were expressed recently by the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Abdusallam Mohammed over the proliferation of tank farms, six new ones are under construction in Lagos.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the six petroleum products reception facilities which will further add to the soaring population of tank farms in Lagos are: Fatgbems Petroleum, Proverbs, Bovag, Swift oil and gas, Index oil, and Techno oil; all located around the Kirikiri area of Apapa.
This discovery coincided with submission by the NPA boss that the private jetties (many of which are used for tank farms) should be encouraged to specialize so as to maximise their potential of enhancing the capacity of the nation’s ports.
Presently, there are more than 107 privately owned jetties in the country. They are located in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar.
Shipping Position Weekly recalls that Mallam Abdusallam Mohammed had while on a visit to Calabar port had also visited the governor of Cross Rivers state, Mr Liyel Imoke where he raised alarm at the number of tank farms that were springing up in Calabar.
The managing director had told the governor that at least 50 companies wre already seeking permission to build jetties from which they would operate tank farms in the city. At the moment, there are three operational tank farms in Calabar while four others that are situated within the Calabar Export Free Zone (EFZ) are expected to commence operation soon.
The rush to Calabar came months after the Federal Government had reportedly stopped further approval for tank farms to be built in Lagos.
But apparently worried by craze to indiscriminately set up jetties and tank farms, the NPA boss declared would not only sanitize their activities, but would also enable the government to have proper control on what they do.
Receiving members of the Inter-Agency Maritime Security Task Force on Acts of illegalities in Nigerian Waters (IAMSTF) who paid him a courtesy call recently he reiterated the need for a clear definition of responsibilities of private jetties, while stressing the need for a clear authority on the licensing and regulation of their activities.
“I believe that private jetties enhance the capacity of the port system, but I feel that they should be specialised in nature. We should make jetties specialised so that there should be at least some level of order and control in terms of what they do.
Shipping Position Weekly however confirmed that one of the new tank farms was last week sealed up by officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for allegedly failing to meet stipulated standards.