Residents of Ijegun area of Lagos State may now be relieved of the hardship they experience over the activities of oil tank farms and mega depot belonging to Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
On Monday, Lagos State Government and Ijegun-Egba Tank Farm Owners and Operators Association agreed to work together in the regeneration of infrastructure in the area.
At a meeting with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Alausa, the leadership of the association requested the approval of the State Government to re-construct and dualise the road leading to the tank farm base in Ijegun.
Sanwo-Olu welcomed the development, saying the State would be setting up a team that would come up the partnership framework with the objective to make the deal beneficial to the residents, the Government and the tank farm owners.
The governor hailed the tank farm owners for coming up with the intervention, noting that his government would remain open to partnerships that would bring solution to challenges facing people at the grassroots.
He said: “Today, we seem to have achieved significant progress on a conversation we started long before we came into the government on how to bring about a lasting solution to agitations from Ijegun residents over infrastructural challenge 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 partnership 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 in 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 described operation of the tank farms as “critical component” of the nation’s economy, noting 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 to ensure that their business 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.
The association chairman, Mr. Adebowale Olujimi, praised the Governor for assenting to the request, noting that the offer was part of the interventions the tank farms owners were voluntarily engaging in through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy to solve challenges of development in Ijegun.
He said the association would be expecting to meet with the government’s team to harmonise the terms of the partnership, which would involve road construction and provision of healthcare facilities in the area.
Earlier, the Governor hosted the chairman of PZ Cussons Plc and members of the manufacturing company’s Board of Directors in his office on courtesy visit.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration’s ongoing drive for infrastructure renewal was aimed at incentivising the private sector to deliver the growth and promote ease of doing business.
The Governor said his government considered it important to constantly review the State’s PPP policy, with the objective to build strong partnership with the private sector players in bridging the development gap.
Chief Kola Jamodu, who led the PZ Cussons’ team, assured Sanwo-Olu that the firm would not be taking its business out of the State. He, however, urged the Governor to sustain his administration’s infrastructural renewal effort and incentivise private sector to drive growth.