As a result of the perennial problems of frequent market fire incidences in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Victoria Island Branch under the leadership of Engr. John Audu, on Thursday 15th April, 2021 launched their first market fire safety campaign aiming at creating awareness among the residents on safety and prevention measures to stem the ugly trends.
Initiated by the Service to Our Society (SOS) Committee, led by its Chairman, Engr. Dr. Ebierin Otuaro, the sensitization exercise is geared towards enlightening market men and women, citizens and the general public on the avoidable economic and social impacts of such disaster. With billions of naira worth of goods and lives lost in the past occurrence, the Engineers, as part of their community responsibilities took it upon themselves to confront the issue and take the advocacy campaign to the markets.
The event which was held in conjunction with the Federal Fire Service Commission and the Leadership of Oniru Market led by Baba Oloja Alhaji Saliu Arowolo began with the mobilization of traders numbering over 200 in the market to the open space for an address by Engr Babatunde James, the Publicity Secretary of Nigeria Society of Engineers, Victoria Island Branch. This was followed by a 45 minutes basic fire fighting safety and prevention training by officials of the federal fire service.
The training was designed and packaged to be simple enough for average citizen to apply. At the end of the training, awareness and demonstrations by the officials, some of the traders were given opportunities to demonstrate the techniques of putting out fire using fire blanket and fire extinguishers. In Addition, traders and general publics were given emergency numbers as well as other basic guidelines that could help minimize losses in event of fire emergency.
Other officials of The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Victoria Island Branch present include : Engr Oyinda Onigbogi, Immediate Past SOS Committee Chairman; Engr. Obiageli Akposionu, Treasurer, Engr Olaniyi Oladipo, Engr. Christian Okwori, General Secretary; Engr. Emmanuel Okpala, Safety Manager at Axxela; Engr Uruemu Edje , a Committee Member and Engr. Caroline Odimba, a Safety Officer at Eko Electricity Distribution Company.
The Branch Chairman, Engr John Audu, FNSE upon assuming office in 2019 had envisioned the anti-market fire sensitization exercise in line with the Branch’s core strategic initiatives to provide solutions to societal problems by creatively applying engineering principles and leadership qualities among other things through innovations and advocacy campaigns.
It will be recalled that Lagos and many others have recently experienced fire outbreak in some markets. The effect of such outbreakare often devastating to the victims, both in loss of basic livings, investments and sometimes family breadwinners.