By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Fire Service Department said it would soon begin a full enforcement of ban on selling of cooking and industrial gas at undesignated areas within the nation’s capital.
It declared that the enforcement of ban on the sale of gas of all classes at unapproved places would commence as soon as the outcome of a Ministerial committee’s report on fire prevention was released.
Making this disclosure yesterday during a Fire Safety enlightenment campaign it organised at Wuse Mordern Market, the Department noted that gas cylinders are highly inflammable and could cause destructive fire disasters,hence the need to regulate the activities of the dealers.
According to FCT Fire Service Public Relations Officer, Mr. Timveh Jerry, the Minister of, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has given the department an order to ensure that stringent measures were taken to prevent fire disaster in the territory, especially as the harmattan season was approaching.
“ It is the responsibility of fire service to regulate the activities of those that sell cooking gas, that was why the FCT Permanent Secretary formed a committee that went to Lafia Nasarawa state after the unfortunate incident of gas explosion.
“We have submitted that report and we are waiting for the outcome, and then fire Service will go out in full force to clamp down on those selling cooking gas within residential areas, because when any disaster happen, we are usually first responders.
“ We have done our assessment and investigation in all the Area Councils ,so as soon as the report comes out we will begin a full force enforcement to clamp down on all erring gas sellers,” PRO stressed.
He further added that in view of high rate of fire disasters during the harmattan season, the enlightenment campaign will be taken to all the markets within the territory, so as to teach traders some preventive measures.
“ We are doing this sensitization exercise in accordance with Ministerial directives, we don’t want a reoccurance of what has happened in places to happen here.
“We want to cover all the market’s in FCT. We have gone to Gudu, Kado fish market, Dei-Die building material market.
We have plans for all these markets, because many of them do not have fire stations”, he added.
On his part, the Chairman of Wuse Market Traders Association, Mr. Rapheal Okorie, said it was necessary to build a Fire post within the market premises, for ease access to fire fighting equipment.
While he said that traders have been doing everything within their reach to imbibe the culture of fire safety, he appealed to the Minister to approve the establishment of a Fire post in the market.
“ We have made a presentation to the minister that we need a Fire post in the market , which I am sure he will give approval to , not only that , but all other things required to combact climate change and high temperature in Abuja.
“ We have also created some emergency exit within the market for ease access to the market, but these exits have been abused by those trading around there, efforts are being made to address it , because what we are seeing here is nussaince to spend up to 30 minutes to come into the market”, Okorie noted .