Idris Musa, NOSDRA DG

The National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA) has assured the general public that all about the tank farm which caught fire in Lagos on Thursday was under control.

The agency’s Director-General, Mr Idris Musa, gave the assurance at a media briefing in Abuja on Friday.

Fire on Thursday gutted a tank farm at the Oando Depot on Gaskiya Road, Ijora Badia area of Lagos State.

Musa confirmed that the tank farm which contained Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) belonging to OVH, a downstream sector of Oando, caught fire on Thursday in Lagos.

“On Sunday the tank farm received PMS and on Thursday there was a sudden fire in the tank, which contained seven million litres of PMS at that time and that is a huge quantity.

“By way of responding to what is contained in the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan as a way of responding to national issues as we had yesterday, we are duty bound to inform the general public as to what has happened.

“This is also to let the public know what we are doing about it and to allay the fears of the general public, so that we do not give room to rumours and fake news.

“Immediately it happened the company informed us and our Lagos zonal office swung into action and we have informed our stakeholders.

“It was a huge problem and we still do not know the cause. But we thank God it is being contained, and that is the first step in preventing a disaster.”

Musa said the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry was contacted to assist to see how the fire could be contained.

He said this was to prevent it from spreading to the surrounding environment.

The NOSDRA director-general said all stakeholders have deployed their contingency plan to forestall a spread of the fire.

“What we did was to cool the body of the tank and to that extent a lot of water was deployed yesterday to reduce the heat because if it explodes it will be disastrous.”

The D-G said the officers were still at the site to ensure that all that needed to be done would be done at the right time.

Musa said other companies not directly involved in the sector had also provided supplies to help contain the fire.

“So, all resources were pulled together to avert what would have been a national disaster.”

The director-general said the agency was working with a local company which had the capacity to assist with such oil spills in the country.

He, however, pointed out that depending on foreign-based companies or neighbouring countries for assistance might affect the time-frame of containing the spill.

“An agreement with the local company will soon be finalised,” Musa said.