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Presidency directs NPA to relocate tank farm owners

17 April 2014, 10:46

Lagos- The Presidency on Wednesday directed the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to relocate tank farms in Apapa, Lagos to the hinterland.

Leke Oyewole, Senior Special Assistant on Maritime to President Goodluck Jonathan, gave the directive at an interactive forum in Lagos.

Oyewole described the continued stay of tank farms in Apapa as a dangerous trend.

He announced that there was a large expanse of land in Mosimi, connected to Ejigbo, Kwara, Ibadan and Ore, which could be developed by the tank farm owners.

"The development of tank farms close to the ports is a dangerous trend. Recently a family escaped disaster when fire engulfed their house.

"Imagine if the tank farm around the house had been affected, the whole of Apapa would have been on fire,’’ the special assistant said.

"NPA should focus towards developing such places as the ports, where tank farm owners can relocate. They can properly utilise the area,’’ he said.

On security, Oyewole commended the Nigeria Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for ensuring security, offshore.

He noted that they were able to distinguish that the security responsibility of NIMASA was defensive and not to carry guns or attack pirates.

Oyewole said that government was mapping out strategies that would ensure an improved security offshore.

On the role of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) as a regulator, OyewoIe appealed to the stakeholders not to use their political will or power to the detriment of the nation.

He said that problems or issues in the maritime sector should be resolved as they come.

According to him, in 2001 some people went and told government that they paid so much money as duty to the Customs, especially the tanker vessels.

"The government said since it is a product for the masses, they reduced the customs duty by 50 percent. Later, same people went and lobbied and got a total waiver.

He said that in 2009, the people descended on the NPA and got a 40 percent waiver, saying they might also move to NIMASA.

Oyewole, however, cautioned that people’s private gains were rather small, when compared with what Nigeria would gain from the payment of such duty.


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