By Gbenga Akanmu
LAGOS â€” Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, yesterday, during a plenary urged the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to urgentlyÂ address theÂ power and petroleum challenges facing the country.
The call came when a lawmaker, Babatunde Adewale, under Matters of Urgent Public Importance called attention to a fire outbreak in Apapa on Friday at about 11.30 p.m.
According to Adewale, the inferno that took place atÂ 8, Jimoh Adeyemi Street, Apapa was as a result of storage of petrol at home by a resident, adding that â€œthe inferno destroyed houses and a life was lost.
â€œThe fire started at exactly 11.30 p.m., though it took the Fire Service officials about two hours to arrive , but they really tried their best to put the situation under control. Many houses were affected because of their generators that were on when the fire broke out,â€ Adewale said.
Rotimi Olowo, who described the incident as pathetic and unfortunate, said people had to buy generators because of the power problem in the country, saying the issue of climate change is another problem Nigeria is going through.
He said: â€œWe have an irresponsible Federal Government. Instead of allowing the people to go through all these problems of storing fuel in their homes, they should sell the refineries to individuals that would manage them.â€
Chief Whip of the House, Rasaq Balogun suggested that the Fire Service be privatised to always have quick response, suggesting that the state government should sensitise Lagosians to acquire fire extinguishers in their homes. â€œAnother way by which this issue can be tackled is to ensure that each local government council in the state builds at least two fire service stations within their area,â€ he said.
Sanai Agunbiade in his contribution, said the Federal Government should address the problem of power and petroleum. According to him, â€œwhen a man knows that there would be regular power supply, he would have no reason to buy generator. When one knows that he would get petrol at any time, he would have no reason to store fuel at home.â€
However, the House in its resolution called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, provide electricity and make fuel available. The lawmakers also called on the state Ministry of Special Duties to provide relief materials to those that were involved in the inferno.
The State Ministry of Home Affairs was also called upon to build a Fire Service Station in Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area, while the Fire Service officials were also urged to always be prompt whenever they were called upon.