Following recent fire incidents at filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory, the administration has vowed to henceforth clampdown on filling stations who flout discharge regulations in the FCT.
The Director-General of the FCT Emergency Management Agency, Abbas Idriss, made the vow while reacting to the recent fire outbreak at Conoil filling station, Area 10, on Saturday, December, 10, 2022.
In a statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs of FEMA, Nkechi Isa, the DG announced that a task force would be constituted by the administration to commence strict enforcement of the regulations on content discharge and safety of life and properties of the residents of the FCT.
Idriss also faulted some of the filling stations in the territory for not having safety equipment or trained personnel, who could act as first responders until firefighters arrived.
He said, “The incessant fire incidents at filling stations in the FCT is becoming increasingly worrisome. The major cause of the fire is non-adherence to the given time of content discharge, which is preferably early morning or late evening periods.
Some filling stations also lack adequate fire defence equipment that will serve as first aid before the responders turn up. Some do not have trained safety officers who are supposed to guide the operators at the filling stations.”
The statement also read that the FCTA would discuss with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and relevant agencies to ensure compliance to the regulations, while also calling on stakeholders in the industry to obey regulations and only discharge contents early in the morning or late in the evening.
“The FCT Administration will open up discussion with the relevant NNPC department, security agencies and other relevant stakeholders to see how we can strengthen the regulations and ensure full compliance of the laws and regulations with the view to saving lives and properties.
“FEMA is therefore calling on all petroleum industry stakeholders to always operate within the standard safety regulations in the discharge of all petroleum contents either in the morning or late in the evening and also to make adequate provision for functional fire defence equipment with adequate trained manpower to handle every situation.”
The filling stations so far affected by fire incidents in the FCT include: AA RANO, Mpape Junction, along Kubwa Expressway, ob December 1, 2022; Danmarna Filling Station at FHA Lugbe on December 7, 2022; and Conoil Filling Station at Area 10, Garki on December 10, 2022.
Meanwhile, the DG commended the prompt response of the firefighters, especially the team from the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Army as well as other stakeholders in fighting the Conoil fire.
He also commended the security agencies for doing a great job by providing the needed security in order to prevent hoodlums from taking over the scene.
No lives were reported lost to the fire which started around 4pm, however, some vehicles parked within the premises of the station were burnt along with the tanker discharging the fuel, as well as the station. No estimate of loss has been done yet.