Ganduje Laments Nigeria’s State-of-Emergency Management, Calls for Rethink Strategies
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state has stressed the need for Nigeria to be more proactive towards emergency management, lamenting that the strategies are inadequate.
The governor made the call, while receiving top officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who visited him in his office, in respect of Saturday morning’s inferno at Sabon Gari market in Kano metropolis. The fire incident, whose cause is yet to be ascertained, started around 1.00 am and raged until late evening, destroying property worth billions of Naira.
Governor Ganduje recalled that immediately the fire was reported to him, he contacted the federal government to assist the state with fire fighting aircraft in view of the enormity of the inferno, but was told that the only such facility, which belongs to NEMA, was not in the country.
He added that he appealed to the Lagos state government for assistance but sadly, it had no such aircraft, adding that even the Nigerian Police Force was contacted but could not oblige because it does not have airborne fire fighting facilities.
“Even Julius Berger was contacted. They have a small fire fighting aircraft but it was not in good condition. We did all we could to quench the fire but the circumstances and the environment made it difficult,” the governor lamented, adding that the state Fire Service had to seek the assistance of firemen from the private sector and neighboring states to handle the situation.
The governor announced that the mandate of the recently inaugurated Commission of Inquiry into the cause of Singer Market in the state has been extended to cover Sabon Gari Market, in view of the government’s determination to address the issue promptly. He further revealed that the mandate committee set up to pool assistance for victims of the Singer Market has been broadened to as well cater for Sabon Gari Market.
He commended men of the state Fire Service for their resilience, despite the operational challenges, and expressed appreciation to NEMA for speedily deploying equipment and personnel to help in dousing the fire at the Sabon Gari Market.