The Ijegun-Egba Tankfarm Owners and Operators Association, an umbrella organization of all Oil Companies at Ijegun – Egba, has denied allegations by the Lagos State Government that its members are operating illegally as they do not pay any taxes, charges or fees to the state Government.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning, Dr. Idris Salako, had at a Stakeholders Meeting on Friday, September 20, regarding the operations of Tankfarms in Lagos State, threatened to shut down tank farms saying that their operations are not only illegal, but have destroyed infrastructural facilities in the state.
Responding, the Association in a statement signed by its Secretary, Barr Eshiet E. Eshiet, on Sunday, stated that, contrary to the commissioner’s statement, all the members are duly licensed and authorized by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to operate Petroleum Storage Facilities (Tankfarms) at Ijegun.
Eshiet also noted that their members have all requisite Permits, Licenses from all appropriate Agencies of government to construct, own and operate Tankfarms, as well as engage in oil marketing and petroleum product distribution operations.
“The Tankfarm operations have contributed immensely to National economy by way of revenue through taxes, levies and charges to the Federal and State governments, as well as the local governments where the storage facilities are located. Regarding payments to Lagos State Government, we wish to state that our members pay taxes, charges and fees to the State Government.
“It very sad and embarrassing for the Hon Commissioner to publicly say that the Tankfarms do not pay taxes, charges and fees to the Lagos State Government”, the association stated.
On regularization of its members, the association noted that in 2014, when it’s members applied for regularization, each company was arbitrarily charged approximately N300 Million Naira, which it described as outrageous and a big strain on its members considering the economic outlook.
On the allegations that it’s members are destroying facilities, the Association, on the contrary said it has undertaken several collective projects and actions with a view to addressing some of the infrastructural deficits.
“It is of interest to note that the Tankfarms at Ijegun have individually and collectively, as an Association, expended over ₦2 Billion in tackling some pressing infrastructural deficits and challenges within our corridor of operations”, the statement read.
On the threat to shut down or close Tankfarms, the association warned that national economy and energy supply, marketing and distribution of petroleum products across the country will be adversely affected, with a resultant unprecedented negative impact on energy security.
“Scarcity of petroleum products and long queues with attendant impacts on business, movements and safety will resurface in response to the cut in supply chain”, the statement read.
The association however reassured that it’s members are committed to conducting their business operations in line with best practices, strict adherence to safety rules and regulations, improving the state of infrastructure within our corridor, safeguard life and property, protect and preserve the environment as well as maintaining a good business environment.