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Provide Firefighting Equipment In All Major Markets, Senate Tells FG.

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    The Senate has called on the Federal
Government to provide firefighting equipment
in all major markets across the country.
This formed part of the resolutions reached
by the lawmakers during Thursday’s plenary
in the Upper Chamber of the National
Assembly in Abuja.
They asked the government to make
provision for the equipment through the
Federal Fire Service, following the fire
incidents that claimed lives and destroyed
properties in parts of the country.
Among the notable incidents include the fuel
tanker explosion in Onitsha which killed a
mother and her child , as well as the fire
outbreak at two different locations at a
popular market in Lagos State.
Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young
Progressive Party (YPP) put aside his political
difference and joined his Anambra colleagues
– Senator Stella Oduah and Senator Uche
Ekwunife – of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) to call the attention of the Senate to the
tragic fire disaster in Onitsha.

   In her contribution, Senator Oduah described
the incident as a sad one and stressed the
need to ensure that drunk drivers do not
“We urge the Federal Government to
intervene. Every market of this size must
have a huge presence of fire service,” she
Senator Ekwunife, on her part, believes the
Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) should be
looking at the quality of drivers that drive
lorries and vehicles.
She urged that all the requests by the Senate
were taken and the amendment that fire
service should be provided in all major
markets be approved by the government.
The lawmaker said, “The fire service should
provide fire equipment in all major markets
across the country so that if it happens there
will be an immediate solution.”
Senator Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu)
commiserated with the families of the victims
while Senator Francis Ezenwa (Imo)
recommended that measures be put in place
to prevent such incidents he said were
“We also have to look at the state of our
roads to be sure that such thing will not
happen again.
“Most important, I think we should look at
moving inflammable products by pipeline – it
is safer and more convenient and it is the
way to go,” he said.
Other lawmakers who made various
contributions were Senator Christopher
Ekpenyong (Akwa Ibom), Senator Theodore
Orji (Abia), Senator Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu),
Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu (Imo), and
Senator George Sekibo (Rivers).
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, called
on the FRSC ensure drivers on the highway
undergo various examinations to ensure they
were not under the influence of drugs.
According to him, there is a need to ensure
that tanker drivers are certified and do not
drink before or while embarking on a trip.
“It is a major responsibility of each state to
take the lead on fire outbreak.
“Anambra State Government should ensure
the roads leading to the market are widened,
Federal Government can provide support and
states must never shy away … from their
responsibilities in the true spirit of true
federalism,” the Senate President said.
After much deliberations, the lawmakers
observed a minute silence in honor of all
those who died in the fuel tanker fire incident
in Onitsha.
They also resolved to send a delegation to
visit and commiserate with the victims and
the people of Anambra, as well as urged the
state government to unravel the reasons why
the Fire Service in Anambra could not
speedily respond to the emergency.
The senators commend the Federal
Government for the promise to assist the
victims and the affected traders with relief
materials and to work with the state
government to forestall future fire incidents.
They, however, asked the Federal
Government to include financial support in the
package to the affected persons to enable
them to restart their businesses.
The Senate also called on the Nigeria Police
Force to work in conjunction with the FRSC to
carry out a thorough investigation into the
circumstances that led to the fuel tanker fire
in Onitsha, with a view to prosecuting anyone
found culpable.
It resolved to accelerate the passage of the
Petroleum Tankers Safety Bill.


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