Govt Plans Centralised Generator for Lagos Market

By Nurat Uthman

The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services has said plans are underway to install a centralised generator in the Lagos Island market to curb incessant market fire.

This is as the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, emphasised the importance of collective responsibility in preventing fire disasters.

Speaking at the Lagos International Fire Safety Conference organised by the LSFRS held in the state on Tuesday, the governor noted that fire incidents in the state were often caused by careless behaviour and urged market traders to take responsibility for their actions.

Sanwo-Olu, who spoke on the theme, “Stakeholders collaboration: A panacea to incessant fire disasters in Lagos,” however, called on market leaders to take responsibility for mitigating cases of fire incidents in their domain.

He said, “Fire incidents in the state are largely due to irresponsible behaviour or carelessness. And because people don’t raise the alarm early enough, this government has built fire stations in five years.

“We have brought 64 fire engines. We have increased the capacity by recruiting over a thousand new fire service men. If it is about providing what is required, the government will actually do that, but it is about everybody understanding that we have a role to play.

“To the market, men and women, the responsibility lies with you. We have had a series of market fire incidents. People store petrol in the market and also place generators on the rooftops, and you keep looking at them.

“They will refuel a generator while it is working and complain that it is their village people. You saw what happened at Dosunmu and Mandilas. The latest one happened in a church. That is why you all need to caution those who are found culpable. Fire is a respecter of no one. Let us call ourselves to order and join hands to put a stop to this.”

On her part, the Director of LSFRS, Margaret Adeseye, attributed fire incidents in the state to negligence and carelessness while stressing the need for stakeholders to come together to find lasting solutions to the problem of fire incidents in the state.

In addressing market fires in the Lagos Island market, Adeseye disclosed that the government planned to introduce a centralised generator to eliminate the need for individual generators.

She said, “Lagosians should come together as a stakeholder because fire prevention and safety is everybody’s business. We are all here to strategise and look at it holistically so that we have lasting solutions to fire incidents. It is no longer a one-man show and not the agency’s duty alone. The stakeholders will come with their diverse knowledge and experience, and we reason together.

“By the end of the three-day conference, we will be able to find a lasting solution to cases of fire incidents. The government had set up a committee to ensure we reposition the Lagos Island market. The committee members are working seriously and at the end of the day, all the individual generators will be curbed. We are going to have a recommended centralised generator so that cases of individuals running the generator will be corrected.”

The state  Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Olugbenga Oyerinde,  in his keynote address, said the administration would continue to create an enabling environment for collaboration and partnerships with relevant organisations, corporate bodies, individuals, and experts that have attained greatness in emergency management and fire disaster prevention, using the global technological approach.

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