FEMA Calls for the Establishment of a Safety Commission


The FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has called for the establishment of a Safety Commission to regulate the activities of gas stations; adding that this initiative is with a view to curbing fire explosions in the territory.

The Director General of the agency, Abbas Idris, made the call while talking to newsmen on the activities of the organisation in 2022 and its plans for 2023. Idris observed that most gas stations and outlets in the nation’s capital didn’t have well-trained members of staff that will attend to customers professionally whenever they went to refill their cylinders.

”Every gas station is supposed to have protective gear for customers to use within their vicinity to protect themselves. Gas selling outlets in the filling stations are supposed to have a wall demarcating them with the filling station, but it is not the situation. So, if we need to have a safety commission regulated by the FCT Administration to ensure that they train the workers of those stations and make sure that they do the right thing. Good

”If not, we will continue to have fire explosions that are going to cause much havoc in the FCT and we have written to the administration to propose an established safety commission,” he said.

The DG said that the agency had concluded plans to introduce Emergency Marshals to work in different communities across the six Area Councils to curb hazards. However, this was a measure set up to help in managing the adverse effects of the rapid growing population in the nation’s capital. He further explained that the decision to introduce Emergency Marshals was based on the need to increase saving interventions and also mitigate hazards. The Marshals will complement the efforts of volunteers who have played key roles in the agency’s activities.

Mr Idris said: ”We intend to introduce emergency Marshals this year. These are volunteers who assist students, hospital workers, PWDs, and the general public during emergencies. They also assist in facility services, Risk Management and Safety Services by reporting conditions in a building that could present a hazard during an emergency. They also maintain an orderly evacuation; conduct a sweep of an area to ensure that evacuation is complete.” He said that the Marshals were expected to participate in debriefings resulting from evacuation and complete a monthly checklist for fire safety issues in the areas they are posted.

Emphasising the importance of the prevention strategy, the minister shared the testimony of the results recorded in the area of flooding; he also gave a detailed report on the achievement of the agency in the outgone year. ”The FCT has become a standard in flood control in the country. This is because of a drastic reduction in the impact of flooding.

“We attribute this development to early warning and massive sensitisation on what to do before the rains, during the rains and after the rains. We have also issued an early warning in line with the impact-based seasonal climate prediction by NIMET, and the annual flood outlook issued by the Nigeria Hydrological Agency,” he said.

Mr Idris also said that in 2022, FEMA responded to a total of 42 distress calls on the 112 emergency toll-free numbers. ”This shows a marked reduction to 2021 when we had 173 distress calls, I want to attribute this reduction to the massive sensitization of residents. In 2022, 270 lives were rescued from various flood incidents received from 16 distress calls through the 112 emergency toll free number,” he said.

In conclusion, Idris reassured the FCT residents on the commitment of the agency to protect lives and property following the reduction of response time from five minutes to three minutes.

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