Lagos Govt. seals 840 event centres in one year – Commissioner

The Lagos State Government says it has sealed over 840 event centres and social facilities in the last one year for various safety violations and non-compliance with extant laws.

Mr Gbenga Oyerinde, the Commissioner, Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, gave the figures at a ministerial news conference held on Monday in Lagos.

The news conference was to present the ministry’s scorecard to commemorate one year of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second term in office.

Oyerinde said that the facilities that had been shut included event centres, clubs, lounges and hotels, as well as construction sites.

He said they were shut for safety infractions in the interest of public safety in the last one year.

The commissioner said the ministry was working in line with Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Developmental Agenda to mitigate risks and protect lives and property of government and citizens.

“About 7,819 facilities were inspected to ensure safety, 5,220 of them were issued with fire safety compliance certificates.

“We’ve sealed 840 event centres and social facilities for safety violations and non-compliance with extant laws,” Oyerinde said

He added that the commission had also, through its environmental safety, carried out not less than 365 advocacy initiatives.

“Fire safety officers from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) successfully rescued 376 victims, preserving property estimated to be worth N152.22 billion.

“The ministry regrettably recorded 82 casualties and loss of property worth N25.37 billion,” he said.

The commissioner noted that additional fire stations were added in Ibeju-Lekki and Ifako-Ijaiye among other locations across the state.

“In line with efforts to boost infrastructure, three new fire stations are near completion in Ijegun-Egba, Satellite Town, and Ijede.

“An ultramodern workshop at the Alausa headquarters is also near completion to cater to the maintenance needs of the agency’s fleet.

“Additionally, land spaces have been identified for the development of additional fire stations in Ibeju-Lekki and Ifako-Ijaiye,” he said.

Oyerinde stressed that the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service had prioritised fire mitigation and emergency response strategies.

“The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service is sustaining its focus on enhancing fire mitigation and emergency response strategies, aligning with the administration’s THEMES Plus Agenda.

“Under the leadership of Gov. Sanwo-Olu, collective effort has been emphasised to address the challenges posed by fire incidents effectively.

“Key statistics from the year’s emergency calls revealed a total of 2,537 incidents, including 1,627 fire calls, 191 rescue calls, 93 salvage calls, and four explosions, alongside 607 false alarms.

“This highlighted the critical need for increased awareness of fire safety measures to combat the impact of negligence and non-compliance with safety codes,” he said.

Also during the year under review, the commissioner said welfare of personnel received a boost, with special allowances approved for firefighters.

He said the allowances included uniform maintenance, shift allowances, hazard allowance, and provision of personal protective equipment.

Oyerinde added that capacity development had also been prioritised through both foreign and local training and retraining programmes to ensure readiness for emerging trends to mitigate fire incidents in the state.

“Between January 2023, and March 2024, LASEMA responded to 1,906 incidents, comprising 1,461 incidents in 2023 and 445 incidents in the first quarter of 2024,” the commissioner said.

He noted that the state constructed fire stations, modern workshops for Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, and an access road to the 3rd Relief Camp.

He said that this were part of its ongoing emergency, safety and security initiatives.

Oyerinde said to ensure safety in state-owned schools, Gov. Sanwo-Olu approved the engagement, deployment, and payment of allowances to 1,356 Nigeria Legionnaires, including personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps.

The commissioner noted that it collaborated with the Ministry of the Environment to improve the state of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) temporary orientation camp (Youth Hostel) at Iyana-Ipaja.

Oyerinde also highlighted the implementation of electronic clearance to reduce paperwork and the stress of manually sorting NYSC clearance forms.

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