April 24, 2024

LASEMA establishes inter-agency working group for emergency mitigation, others

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*L-R: 3rd right: HC SD&IGR, Engr. Bamgbose-Martins, LASEMA Director Technical & Strategy Mr. Wewe Ganiu, Mrs. Yaya Damilola, Mr. Chris Akogun, Head ICT, Mrs. Abdulsalaam Ganiyat, Dr. Bukola Ayinla Left; Head Public Affairs, Nosa Okunbor, Mrs. Facade at the Inauguration of the Technical Working Group at Dover Hotel, Lekki, Lagos 8th August 2021.

Etim Ekpimah

The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, has inaugurated an Inter-Agency Technical Working Group for its proposed five-year plan to ensure safety of Lagos residents.

According to Head, Public Affairs, LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, on Thursday, the inter-agency technical working group is part of LASEMA’s efforts to ensure effective response and mitigation of emergencies and disasters in Lagos State.

The Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr Tayo Bamgbose-MartinsIn said the three-day meeting of the Technical Working Group in Lekki, noted that the establishment of the group became imperative for LASEMA as the overall coordinator of the emergency/disaster management in Lagos to meet and device new ways to successfully combat emerging threats”.

Speaking, Bamgbose-Martin stated that Lagos as a fast-growing city with a large population and never-ceasing intense economic activities, tasked members of the Technical Working Group to come up with a detailed plan on strategies, tasks, and deadlines to boost safety in the state.

He added: “Everyone here has a part to play, not only in the development of this document, but also in its implementation which may include, but not limited to Polices and Regulations, Code Enforcement, and Community Awareness.

The Commissioner reiterated that the Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu led administration is particular about the safety and protection of lives and property in Lagos, as evidenced in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, which he said was translating to optimal service delivery in fulfilment of his promise to the citizenry.

“Let me remind you that it is our primary responsibility to join hands and ensure that Lagos State remains a safe and conducive environment for its citizens and a destination of choice for local and international investors,” he said.

Director-General/CEO LASEMA, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who inaugurated the Technical Working Group harped on the need for emergency responders to work in harmony with one another, noting that the world is not a very safe place to live in these days, as disaster might strike in the form of natural calamities, terrorist attacks and accidents at any moment.

He said that the outcome of the meeting is aimed at eliminating rivalry among all emergency responders and stakeholders operating within Lagos State, to enable quick and effective intervention adding, “Lagos as a part of the global village is prone to these disasters.”

He expatiated that Lagos with its rapidly growing population of more than 20 million and large urban concentration, urban development in coastal areas, the largely poor enforcement of building codes, cannot afford distractions through rivalry.

He noted: “When there’s competition among the agencies, we will not be effective, so we have to look at how we are going to work together, examine the rules and regulations, as well as our roles which must be clear, so that, there’s no overlapping and most importantly, we must respect one another and work as a team.”

In his renewed call for harmony among responders and stakeholders, Oke-Osanyintolu stated that “LASEMA and its relevant stakeholders from 1st January, to 30th June 2021 responded to 822 incidents in six months, compared to that of Y2020 annual figure of 1024 incidents from January to December that showed an increase of 60% average in incidents.

“Notable of which were the Baruwa gas explosion, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway oil tanker explosion, Ijora-Badia tank farm fire, the Iddo warehouse disaster, to name but a few.”

Going forward, speaking on the Agency’s successes through proactive measures, the LASEMA DG/CEO said LASEMA had established market emergency committees, local emergency management committees in all 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs.

He added that aside the ongoing massive public education campaign, the agency before now, had set up school emergency management committees that are educating primary and secondary school pupils/students to further reduce disasters and avoidable emergencies in Lagos.

The brainstorming session of the technical working group was preceded by pep talk from LASEMA’s consultants and a lecture from the South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, who gave kudos to the initiative which he described as a great step in the right direction.

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