Tank farm operators around Ijegun, Satellite Town area of Lagos State yesterday visited the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu, seeking infrastructure support for their businesses, especially their 450 trucks plying the country.
Chairman, Ijegun-Egba Tank Farm Owners and Operators Association, Mr Adebowale Olujimi, appealed to the State Government to reconstruct and dualize roads leading to the tank farms base in Ijegun.
Olujimi said the association members had 12 depots, accounting for 33 per cent of petroleum products being served across Nigeria from Lagos to Maduguri.
He said that on average, the association members were loading about 25 to 30 million litres of petroleum products out of Ejigbo every day and having about 400 to 450 trucks plying the country.According to him, the association is a big business hub but the neighbourhood also needs a lot of help.
”Presently, the business has been in serious challenge because petroleum products dealers in Lagos State have about eight to nine agencies collecting various taxes, which is not actually included in the template of the price regulatory agency of Nigeria for petroleum products.
”Today, we have challenges concerning infrastructure. Everybody knows there is infrastructure decay in Nigeria and it is affecting our business,” he said.
In his response, Gov Sanwo Olu assured the state would work out a lasting solution to the challenges faced by tank farm owners and residents at the Ijegun-Egba area of the state.
Sanwo-Olu said that the State Government would be setting up a team that would come up with a partnership framework, aimed at tackling problems faced in the area.
He said that the team would ensure that the partnership deal would be beneficial to the residents, the government and the tank farm owners.
According to him, his administration will remain open to partnerships that will bring solutions to challenges facing people at the grassroots.
“Today, we seem to have achieved significant progress on a conversation we started long before we came into government on how to bring about a lasting solution to agitations from Ijegun residents over infrastructural challenges in the area.
”We want to see how we can quickly come about a lasting solution to the challenges, which businesses and residents are currently facing in the area.
”As a government, we have been forward looking to solutions but we seek to solve the problem by seeking partnerships that will benefit all of us.
”So, we welcome the request and we will set up a team that will jointly review what we need to do to the benefit of all stakeholders
”It is going to be a partnership in which the government would play a prominent role and we expect that as business people, we all should collectively come together and see how we can resolve it in the interest of all stakeholders.”
Sanwo-Olu said that the operation of the tank farms was a critical component of the nation’s economy, adding that his administration would not fail in responding to issues that would promote ease of doing business.
”As a government, we have the responsibility to respond to the concerns of businessmen doing their businesses in Lagos State to ensure that their businesses continue to flourish.
”But, more importantly, we also have a responsibility to keep protecting our citizens that are all around where the businesses are located to be sure that they are in a very safe and secured environment,” he said.