Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has assured of his administration’s continuous support to the state’s Emergency Responders System in order to reduce casualty figures and losses resulting from disasters.
Sanwo-Olu made the assurance at a Symposium with the theme: “Emergency Systems And the Economy: Impact and Opportunities” on Tuesday in Lagos.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, disclosed that three newly built fire stations, 62 state-of-the-art fire-fighting equipment and newly recruited Fire Officers into the service of the Agency will be commissioned in two days time.
He said government had stepped up intervention by establishing six new Fire Stations, three of which had been completed at Ebute Elefun in Lagos Island, Ajegunle in Ajeromi Ifelodun and Oniru Estate in Iru/VIctoria Island.
The governor said the new fire stations underscored his administration unrelenting commitment to improve the response time, increase proximity and ensure firefighters get to the theatre of operations in record time.
On human capacity, the Sanwo-Olu stated that the state government had recruited 435 new fire officers to boost the personnel in the Fire and Rescue Service Agency.
This, he said, would further boost investors’ confidence and consolidate the state’s position as being investment friendly.
According to the him, “For a state with population of over 20 million people, host to industrial, commercial and economic activities, the responsibility of ensuring safety of lives and properties in terms of emergency response and management is quite herculean.
He added that like most smart nations and sub national governments, the state government had taken steps to invest in risk mitigation against natural and man-made disasters.
“Disasters sushi as flooding, fire outbreak, collapsed buildings, and others, which could negatively impact the lives of our citizens, shatter dreams and the hope of the vulnerable.
“Our administration, from inception, was very clear about its Strategic Policy Focus, which aimed at repositioning the State Emergency Responders to carry out their onerous responsibilities of providing safety and rescue service in the State.
“We are convinced that with modern equipment and well trained/motivated personnel, response to and management of all kinds of emergencies will improve very significantly,” he said.
The governor therefore, appealed to residents to always cooperate with the State Fire and Rescue Service Agency in order to discharge their duties efficiently.
“Always give way when you hear the siren of fire trucks on the way to attend to emergency.
“Desist from blocking access to accident sites and attacking personnel or equipment while on duty,” he urged.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Special Adviser to the governor on Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr Mobolaji Ogbedengbe, said that the need to proffer solutions to the current challenges such as massive changes; in the world, climate, natural elements, from citizens and increasing expectation from the governed witnessed in the world and the state as well, had become more essential.
Ogedengbe noted that the symposium had brought together cerebral minds to deliberate on the way forward and to suggest solutions to make the state a better state to live in.
In his goodwill message, Chairman, Sandeco Group Nigeria, Mr Vincent Southey Effiong, stated that the provision of robust emergency systems in the society often had direct correlation with the outcome of any government’s investment drive, either foreign or local.
Similarly, the Lagos State Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr Sesan Ogundeko, said a critical examination of the State’s Emergency Management Architecture was overdue.
“There was need for an overhaul considering the incidence of flood and other national disasters that have ravaged many states within and outside Nigeria.”
The highlight of the event was the unveiling of a new logo for the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service Agency.