84 people and N12.8 billion worth of properties have been lost due to fire outbreaks in the last one year, the Lagos State Government reveals.
The government admitted to saving properties worth N76.9 billion from being destroyed by fire in 980 fire calls recorded in the state between May 2017 and April 2018.
Speaking at a ministerial news conference in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, Mr Oluseye Oladejo, also disclosed that the fire service received 1,282 emergency calls, of which 980 were fire calls.
Oladejo said 333 victims were rescued while the agency recorded 202 rescue calls and 83 false calls, adding that 84 people were recovered dead.
The commissioner stated that despite the sizeable number of incidents recorded, the state government was able to respond promptly to emergencies thereby saving lots of lives and properties.
“Within the period under review, the State Government rehabilitated and upgraded 225 old Fire Hydrants that were initially below ground level in Lagos Metropolis and installed 50 new additional ones to link the Mini/Micro Water Works in the State. The hydrants have been providing easy access to copious Water supply for Firemen during Firefighting and Rescue Operations,” he said.
Also, Oladejo said plans were underway to commence removal of all abandoned vehicles on roads across the state.
Already, Oladejo said the governor had approved the creation of Vehicle Recovery Unit to solely see to the removal of abandoned and accident vehicles on the roads which would be under the Ministry of Special Duties, adding that plans were being firmed up for the take-off of the unit soon.
He said: “The Ministry late in 2017 was given the mandate to set up a unit for vehicle towing and recovery services to remove abandoned and accidental vehicles from our roads.
“I am happy to inform you that the Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations has gotten approval from His Excellency, the Governor, to set up a Towing and Recovery Unit in the Ministry to complement the emergency rescue efforts of the State.
“This speaks largely to efforts in terms of prevention to mop up abandoned vehicles in all nooks and crannies in the State and also to make sure that broken down vehicles are promptly removed to prevent mishaps on the highways. For the smooth take off of the Unit, the Governor also directed that equipment and towing trucks of various capacities be procured to be able to remove vehicles of whatever make and size.”
Speaking further, the commissioner said as part of efforts to improve the functionality of Fire Service Department and to efficiently manage disasters, the Governor has also approved the recruitment of additional 150 fire fighters who would join the newly inducted 100, while 70 ad-hoc staff of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) had already been absorbed into the State civil service.
“We have also scaled up the functionality of the fire fighters with the induction of a new set of 100 operatives. These fire fighters have just completed their mandatory training and have been inducted into the fire service to join the existing fire fighters. We have also recently recruited additional 150 fire officers who are currently undergoing training and will be inducted into the fire service in the next few months.
“To continue to comprehensively manage disasters in the State, His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode absorbed over 70 ad hoc staff of the Agency into the mainstream of the State Civil Service in November 2017. His Excellency also approved payment of special allowance for staff of the Agency. The idea is to get the best out of these workers who have demonstrated uncommon dedication and commitment to duty,” Oladejo said.
Besides, the commissioner said within the last one year, two new fire stations were established in Bolade-Oshodi and Abesan, while approval had been granted for creation of four stations to be located in Safety Arena, Eredo-Epe, Olorunda-Badagry and ijegun-Satelite Town.