A midnight fire outbreak has razed popular Amu plank and building material market at the Mushin area of Lagos state.
The source of the fire remains unknown but the fire has since destroyed many shops and planks in the market.
According to the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osayintolu, properties worth billions of Naira, including two houses, have been consumed in the 2200 sqm market by the raging inferno.
A bill for an act to repeal the fire service act of 2004 has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill which was sponsored by representative Dachung Bagos seeks to change the name from fire service to fire and rescue service, to enable the service carry out rescue services and not just fire fighting.
In a bid to effectively fight emergency cases of fire outbreak in Borno State, the Federal Fire Service has trained 107 firefighters.
The training was in collaboration with the State Government who appealed for the proper effectiveness by men of the service.
Prior to the training and graduation of the firefighters, the North Eastern state has a staff strength of 69 men and barely two functional equipment.
Director General of the Federal Fire Service, Joseph Anebi, said the service requires the continued support of the state government to meet up with the peculiar challenges of protecting lives and properties.
His comments come shortly after the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, pledged his administration’s commitment in improving the delivery of the state’s fire service.
The last time the firefighters were trained was in 1989.
Worried by this development, the state government procured 50 firefighting vehicles to be deployed not only in the capital city but also across the Local Government Areas within the state.
The governor is hopeful that the purchase of the new vehicles would help equip fire personnel in attending to emergency cases in the state.
In supporting the state government, Federal Fire Service also donated two firefighting vehicles in addition to the 50, while 40 personnel were deployed to the state.
An unidentified driver might have lost his life while several property got submerged in flood as a heavy downpour left bitter tales for many residents of Osogbo, the Osun state capital.
The Muslim festival was going well with residents already looking forward to resuming back to their businesses when the holiday suddenly turned sour.
Some residents in areas like Testing Ground, Rasco, Oke-Onitea, Fiwasaye, Gbomi and Iludun in Osogbo have been counting their losses as the rain came down heavily for three hours, causing flood in many parts of the city.
Channels Television visited Oke-Onitea area, where residents were gathered looking at a canal in search of a middle-aged man said to be the driver of a Nissan Primera with registration number – Lagos LSD 683 DZ.
An eyewitness told us that the man insisted on driving through the already overflowing water but was swept off with his car, while the driver was yet to be found at the time of filing this report.
The story was different at Fiwasaye area. Residents were stranded as the bridge required to cross to the other side of the community had been washed off by the rain.
With many houses and stalls submerged by the rain, another eyewitness said that a woman and her daughter had been left stranded in their store because of the rain.
It took the intervention of some youths in the community and the Osun State Fire Service to rescue both the woman and her daughter.
One of the victims, Ifedunmade Ogundijo, who owns a fashion outfit and a salon, said that the rain had caused her about three million naira loss.
According to a report by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Osun state was identified as one of the flood-prone areas and the residents believe that the government should have been proactive to avert this occurrence.
While the residents count their losses, no official statement had been made by the Osun state government at the time of the report.
The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and Ministry of Environment, suggested that building emergency camps would be necessary in order to accommodate victims, should a flood disaster occur.
The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in conjunction with trainers from the Southeast Zonal National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also conducted a capacity building workshop on Basic Skills in Search and Rescue.
At least 170 persons received training in search and rescue operations as part of the contingency plans for the predicted 2016 flooding.
Nigeria has experienced its fair share of flooding over the years and its attendant consequences. In 2012, Nigeria witnessed what has been described as the most devastating flood in its history.
Since then, the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency has been making public the flood outlook for each year.
It is expected that relevant government agencies and policy makers would be well prepared to respond adequately to the incidence of flood in their area following the release of the outlook.
The Kaduna State Government has distributed Fire-Fighting Vehicles to the 23 Local Government Areas of the state as part of measures to ensure prompt response to fire incidences and emergency situations in all parts of the state.
Speaking during the distribution of the vehicles to the respective councils at the Government House, Kaduna on Thursday, Governor Mukhtar Yero said that the purchase of the vehicles was aimed at re-equipping and reviving the state Fire Service that has been in comatose over the years.
He explained that the purchase of the fire fighting vehicles and other equipments was part of his administration’s efforts to reduce incidents of fire in all parts of the state especially during the harmattan season.
The fire fighting vehicles are equipped with communication gadgets and installed water tank with a capacity of 1,100 litres, a fitted light pump and a hose reel.
The vehicles also have provision for a larger delivery in case of a major fire incident.
Apart from the vehicles, Governor Yero said that his administration had also built new fire service stations in all the 23 Local Government Areas of the state, as well as providing them with solar boreholes, administrative office and communication centre to receive alert on fire incidents from the public.
He called on the people of the state to be proactive and vigilant in order to avoid outbreak of fire within their areas.
Reports reaching us says a fire outbreak has occurred at the Mamman Kontagora House located at the Marina Axis is on fire.
The high rise building houses corporate entities, including the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Federal Mortgage Bank.
Eyewitness accounts have it that the inferno started-off around the generator house of the building this morning.
Properties may have been lost in the fire outbreak but officials of the Lagos Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Agency are putting efforts together to douse the fire.
The spokesman for the Lagos State Fire Service said the fire that started at the Kontagora building about 9:13am, had been put off.
“Onikan Fire truck responded with 10,000 litres of water and aerial ladders that can effectively combat the fire at the high-rise Kontagora building. We have been able to douse the fire,” the Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasak Fadipe said.
He stated that the fire service had detected the seat of the fire, which he was a diesel generated on the the floor that was on fire.
National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr Chris Iyimoga, has appealed to residents of Abuja to come for their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC), before the deadline of March 8, 2015.
The former Director of FCT Council for Arts and Culture, who spoke after an inspection of some collection centres in the Federal Capital Territory, decried the low turn out of residents to collect the cards.
Some residents of Abuja had condemned the ongoing collection of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in the Federal Capital Territory for what they called “inadequate awareness and sensitisation of the public”.
Some of the residents said that they got to know about the exercise when they saw people gathering at Polling Units, while a resident complained that he could not find his name on the collection list.
“The information was not well circulated, the awareness was low and I did not hear about it at all. I was on my way to work when I saw a crowd.
“I decided to check out what was happening and discovered a board has been put up with incomplete names,” he said.
However, Dr Iyimoga has stressed that only seventy-one per cent (71%) of the Permanent Voter Cards had been collected.
He urged the residents of the Federal Capital Territory and its environs to go to their Polling Units to collect their Permanent Voter Cards in order to vote the candidates of their choice in the coming general elections.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday, that “Lagos is working” because of the change of attitude and dedication to work in its Public Service.
Governor Fashola made the observation at a Pens-Down ceremony held in Alausa, in honour of the retiring Head of Service, Mrs Josephine Oluseyi Williams.
Governor Fashola expressed joy that the State Public Service had removed the word “impossible” from its vocabulary, emphasising that such resolve underscored the fact that the people could change anything that did not work for them.
“Whenever Lagos residents acknowledged the State’s law enforcement agencies, the fire fighting capacity of its Fire Service or the efficiency of its Public Service delivery, I always reminded them that the personnel of the agencies were not changed “but only changed their attitude and renewed their dedication,” he said.
Fashola maintained that with the right attitude and the appropriate dedication to work, nothing would be impossible for any institution in Nigeria.
“When I meet people outside now and they tell me that the face of the Lagos State Public Service is changing for the better, I take that compliment with a lot of inward pride even though I know that the work is not finished,” the Governor added.
This Cup Would Pass
Fashola also noted that the State’s Public Service has earned the support of the public that it serves, reiterating that earning such support was only half of the journey, as keeping it was the real deal.
He explained further that Lagos did not earn such public support by sloganeering, by pronouncing transformation or by a vision that changed every minute.
Governor Fashola, who entitled his address at the ceremony “This Cup Would Pass”, stressed that Nigeria was being forced to drink from a very bitter cup, adding that the cup would eventually pass.
“Even though we gather to celebrate and honour the Public Service, some of the things that we see now raises several questions and the difference between good and bad is becoming very difficult to tell,” he said.
The outgoing Governor also added that governance was not necessarily about building roads and bridges or about proving jobs but also about very high moral authority.
Advising those who regard the appointment of women into leadership positions as their achievement to look beyond their narrow confines, the Governor stated that “when you look at the Permanent Secretaries in Lagos State, the Magistracy, the leadership of parastatals and the Judiciary, you will see that leadership responsibility for women in Lagos is a way of life.
“So if some people think they are doing women a favour and consider it an achievement, they are living in a different world. Here, it is already a way of life.”
In her response, after signing off her personal file in the Public Service and receiving a Certificate of Service from the Governor, Mrs Williams said her choice of the public service was primarily based on the desire to fulfill a dream of touching lives and making some modest contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria.
Urging public servants to remain focused at all times and in all situations, she reminded them that the decisions they made in the course of service would go a long way in shaping the society.
There has been a gas explosion in Akure, Ondo State, South West Nigeria, on the night of Saturday December 13.
Several people were injured and properties worth millions of naira destroyed by the disaster.
The gas explosion gave residents a big scare, as they initially thought it was a bomb blast.
Channels Television learnt that there was a loud explosion from a gas depot located in the area and as a result, several houses, shops and cars nearby were burnt.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to us at the scene of the incident complained that men of the State Fire Service did not get there on time.
The incident, however, attracted many sympathisers who tried to put out the fire hours before the arrival of fire servicemen.
When the officials came, some protesting residents were seen pelting them with stones and other objects.
The angry mob, mostly youths, protested in the major streets of the city because of the great loss incurred before the intervention of the fire servicemen.
Soldiers from the nearby 32 Artillery Brigade had to be called in to help restore order, so the fire officials could be allowed to do their job.
Wemino Akinkunmi, who spoke in Yoruba in anger, said that the gas explosion started in his presence and lamented the late arrival of the Fire Servicemen, which according to him led to the fire engulfing the whole area.
President Goodluck Jonathan, just back from the AU Summit, has taken time out to visit the scene of Wednesday’s bomb blast in Wuse II in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He described the act as regrettable and painful, promising that those who carried out the bombings and their sponsors would be brought to book.
The President wondered why anyone would be planning evil for those who are carrying out legitimate businesses, fending for their families and contributing to the development of the nation. He described what has happened as one of those dark phases in the history of the country which Nigeria must overcome.
The visit also took him to the Maitama District Hospital, where he sympathized with the wounded who were brought there for treatment.
He used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to shun criticisms of security personnel and rather give them maximum support and information that would enable them fish out those who carried out the terror attacks.
Following the bomb blast that occurred in Abuja on Wednesday, the Nigerian Police says it must strike a balance between the need to inform the public and protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.
This assertion was made by the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who spoke live via the telephone on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday morning.
Asked to give updates, owing to information that one of the perpetrators of the bombing was arrested, Mba said that at the time, that there was not much he could tell about the ongoing investigation.
He explained that investigating terror related cases was a very sensitive issue that must be handled with all carefulness and caution.
He, however, confirmed that indeed, an arrest was made and the suspect was being interrogated. He also confirmed that Police had commenced a post blast analysis with the region of the blast cordoned off to avoid a compromise of the investigations.
“That’s the most that can be said for now”, he said.
On the response time of the rescue team, which witnesses have commended to be quite quick, Mr Mba corroborated the commendation and gave credits to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Fire Service for their quick response.
He also commended the occupants of the shopping mall for their vigilance which resulted in the arrest made. He noted that the sensitization exercise of security agencies in all the public places paid off in the sense that the mall occupants were not only able to identify a suspect but were also able to ensure that the bomber did not get to the centre of their premises.
He added that they have been able to prevent a more devastating tragedy with their vigilance.
On moving forward, the Police PRO gave series of advice to occupants of public commercial centres across the country on how to protect themselves and their facilities from further attack.
He said that they must maintain discipline among themselves by paying attention to the people who come into their premises, as “access control must be strict”. He also suggested that parking lots that are away from core business centres would be much safer for all.
While emphasizing the need to install CCTV on their premises, he asked that they must work much closer with security agencies and arm themselves with phone numbers of the Police and the SSS.
He stated that the security number 112 was at the beck and call of every Nigerian but they should do more than cramming it but also have the control room number of the state in which they reside.
The phone numbers of the Police, the Department of State Service (DSS), and that of the National Security Adviser, he said, were available on the Police website, Frank Mba’s blog and other websites of security agencies.
He called on corporate organisations to help the Police and other security agencies to promote the numbers as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. He also appealed to Channels Television to further help with its credible international platform by scrolling the numbers periodically to reach out to its millions of viewers in Nigeria and across the world.
He promised that the Police would continue to do everything possible to strengthen its security apparatus to ensure the safety of Nigeria and Nigerians.