By Christiana Ekpa
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has disclosed that the establishment of tank farms in residential areas across the country posses a grave risk to the lives of the people.
The Speaker while Inaugurating an adhoc committee on the need to relocate tank farms in residential areas of Ijegun, Kirikiri abs other areas, said the House has resolved to find out how the tank farms found their way to the residential areas in the first place.
“ Tank farms across the country serve an essential function. They are stores of economic value and a critical part of the energy distribution infrastructure in the country. However, we cannot continue to ignore the undeniable fact that the location of many of these tank farms in places of residence or close to areas of high traffic represents a clear and present risk to the people that live and work in those places.
“Therefore, the House of Representatives has resolved to investigate how these tank farms came to be in these places, and more importantly, what needs to be done about them to prevent further disaster from occurring on our watch.
“The legislative function is often limited in the public mind to law-making. Whereas, it is our advocacy in the public interest that usually has a more immediate impact on the welfare of the people we serve.
“ This is one of those instances where we have a responsibility first to speak, and then to follow through with substantive action to prevent further reoccurrence of catastrophic events that cost lives, destroy livelihoods and decimate the value of assets accumulated over time through hard effort.
The Speaker challenged the Committee to listen to the numerous and often conflicting views of a myriad of interests and to forge from this discord, a solution that solves the present problem without creating new ones. He said “You are entering into an arena where the investments are enormous, the interests are entrenched and powerful, and where a failure to deliver on your mandate will have outsize consequences long after you have left office. I am confident in your ability to meet the demands of this moment, I assure you of the support of the House of Representatives, and I wish you Godspeed.” He said
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Sergius Ogun (PDP-Edo) disclosed that the ad hoc committee was born out of the need to ensure safety of lives and properties which is one of the primary responsibilities on government.
He said that tank farms located in residential areas are big disaster waiting to happen and the committee has the task to adequately carry out the assignment in the best interest of the people and national development.
“The committee will commence an investigative hearing and I urged your all stakeholders to contribute with facts and figures to achieve this task
“We shall do our best to deliver on this mandate, we shall leave no stone unturned in the discharge of our duty.
“The oil sector is a huge source of income for our economy and it must be well coordinated and function without posing hazards to the people,” he said