Sadiya Umar Farouq PHOTO:Twitter
•Humanitarian Affairs Minister, Abiru Seek Compliance With Safety Standards
Worried by the incessant rate of gas explosions in the state, the Lagos State House of Assembly has directed its Committee on Special Duties, to invite concerned stakeholders and agencies with a view to finding a lasting solution to the menace.
This was the resolution reached at an emergency plenary yesterday, after the member representing Alimosho Constituency 1, Bisi Yusuf, brought before the House the issue of the explosion that rocked Baruwa area of Ayobo Ipaja, in which five lives were lost and several properties destroyed.
In a response to the disaster, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq, sent her condolences to the victims of the gas explosion.
In a statement by Grace Osuji for Deputy Director (Information) in the ministry, the minister reiterated her readiness to render support to Nigerians in crisis situations and ensure strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness and prevention. She urged the populace to be vigilant and adhere strictly to safety measures to avert future fire disasters.
In similar vein, the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for the October 31 senatorial by-election in Lagos East, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru has commiserated with families of the victims of the explosion that occurred at Best Roof Cooking Gas Plant, Baruwa.
Speaking at the plenary, Yusuf, while recounting the incident, explained that it was a bad Thursday for the people of Alimosho after the explosion occurred and not only destroyed properties worth millions of naira but also took lives.
The lawmaker noted that the House, during the 8th Assembly, came up with a resolution condemning siting gas plants within residential areas but that the resolution was not enforced by the necessary agencies.
Members, while lending their voices, condemned a situation whereby gas plants are sited within residential areas, just as they urged the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to desist from approving siting of gas plants within residential areas.
Hon. Ganiu Sanni-Okanlawon, the member representing Kosofe Constituency 1, explained that the incessant gas explosion was becoming worrisome. He also advised that the concerned authorities and agencies should carry out proper enforcement of regulations relating to siting of gas plants.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, said the House being the people’s representative could no longer fold its arms and continue to allow loss of lives.
According to him, “We need to allow our committee on special duties look into this and engage the necessary and concerned authorities and operators, so that we can get true pictures and what exactly are responsible for these explosions.”
The committee on special duties of the House was however, directed to give a feedback to the House in one week.
Abiru, a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, described the explosion as unavoidable if necessary safety measures had been in place before the incident that claimed lives and destroyed properties worth of millions of naira.
He expressed the concern in a statement yesterday, tasking the Lagos State Government and Department Petroleum Resources (DPR) to collaborate on ensuring all operators of gas plants comply with health, safety and environment standards.