The Lagos State Government has said it would take drastic steps in achieving zero tolerance by clamping down illegal gas and petrol filling stations in residential areas in the state to avert future occurrence of gas explosions in neighbourhoods.
This move was disclosed on Thursday at a meeting by the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako with District Officers and Supervisory Directors at the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) headquarters at GRA, Ikeja.
He explained that the move is key in discouraging scrupulous individuals who would want to site gas and petrol filling stations indiscriminately in residential areas.
Recall that the state in less one month between September and October has witnessed two gas explosions at refill gas stations in residential areas which resulted to loss of lives and destruction of properties worth a lot of naira, with the move by the state government, it would safeguard lives and property and also maintain the sanctity of the built environment in the state.
The Commissioner revealed that only 17 Gas Filing Stations had planning permit, adding that all illegally built outlets, as well as those operating in residential areas, would be sealed off to avert further mishaps.
“The Ministry will work with other agencies including the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Lagos State Safety Commission, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Petroleum Resources to safely decommission any sealed gas and petrol filling station,” said Salako.
He urged district officers and supervisory directors to wake up to their responsibilities and uphold the standard operating procedures of the ministry while warning that erring officers would be punished in line with the Public Service Rules.
He, therefore warned defaulters of government enforcement seals as well as owners of collapsed illegal buildings would henceforth be prosecuted in line with the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2019.