FCT prone to more explosions, fires, FEMA raises alarm
The Federal Capital Territory FCT Emergency Management Agency FEMA has advocated the urgent establishment of a Safety Commission for the territory, expressing fears that the nation’s capital is too susceptible to fires and gas explosions.
Director General of FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss who disclosed this at a news conference Wednesday in Abuja, said the proposed Commission will take charge of the responsibility of issuing operating licenses and effectively curbing the proliferation of liquid (cooking) gas and petrol outlets in the FCT.
Idriss however warned that if such Commission was not established, FCT could witness more fires and explosions, with all its attendant effects on the city’s multi-million dollar infrastructure.
He disclosed that in furtherance of the advocacy, the agency had gone to some states to understudy them.
He said; “We are advocating that we should have a Safety Commission in the FCT, which will take charge of the responsibility of issuing operating licenses, because, most of these gas stations don’t operate the way they are supposed to, as they don’t have the requisite training and adequate personnel to handle such ventures.
“So, we have written for it, and we will continue to advocate for such sustainable intervention. We had a Committee on incessant gas explosions in the FCT, but that doesn’t mean that we are not taking action.
“Now, with the fire incidents in three filling stations, we have revisited those actions, and we are awaiting a response from the FCT Minister. Definitely, something good is coming out. It is a concern that we can’t ignore, as it is part of our responsibilities. We had even gone to some states to do some understudy, to see what they are doing.
“So, if we don’t have a safety commission established and regulated by the FCTA that will ensure that they train each operator of gas outlets and filling stations to follow the right thing required of them, we are going to have fires and explosions that are going to cause much havoc in the FCT”.
Furthermore, the FEMA boss revealed that in 2022, the Agency intervened in post-fire disasters in various parts of the FCT as well as responded to 10 fire incidents, including three filling station fires, where 16 lives were saved.
On FEMA’s action plan for 2023, he said the agency intends to continue with a spillover of activities of the previous year which include “Operation Eagle Eye” and the dry season early warning campaign.
He added that FEMA will continue with dry season sensitization on Radio, Television and other social media platforms as well as in marketplaces and residential areas.