The Lagos State Government is set to go after fuel station operators in residential areas.
Specifically, the government says it would seal off all illegal gas and petrol filling stations in densely populated residential areas across the state to demonstrate its zero tolerance for such acts.
This was disclosed in a statement by Mukaila Sanusi, spokesman, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development on Thursday.
He stated that the Commissioner in the ministry, Dr Idris Salako reached the decision at a meeting with top officials. Further, the measure, he revealed, was adopted to tame the menace of incessant gas explosions in filling stations in Lagos.
Salako spoke during the meeting with District Officers and Supervisory Directors in Ikeja; noting that “it had become expedient to discourage the propensity to establish Gas and Petrol Stations indiscriminately in densely populated residential neighborhoods across the State.
‘‘The decision will safeguard lives and properties, while maintaining the sanctity of the built environment,” he said.
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He said that only 17 gas filing stations had planning permits; even as he disclosed that all illegally built ones would be sealed off.
“All illegally built outlets as well as those operating in densely populated residential areas would be sealed off to avert further mishaps”.
Salako said the ministry would collaborate with other agencies including Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources; Lagos State Safety Commission; Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency; as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources to safely de-commission any sealed gas/petrol filling station.
He urged District Officers and Supervisory Directors to be alive to their responsibilities; imploring them to uphold the Standard Operating Procedures of the Ministry, while warning that erring officers would be punished.
In addition, the Commissioner said breakers of government enforcement seals; as well as owners of collapsed buildings would be prosecuted in line with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2019.
Other top officials at the meeting included the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Ganiyu Ayuba; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Foluso Dipe; General Manager, Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority, Mrs Funmi Oshifuye; as well as the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mrs Abiola Kosegbe.