The Edo State Government has commenced a clamp down on firms that flout its safety regulations with the sealing of Esteem Event Centre located in Benin City, which was found wanting after a fire safety inspection was carried out on the facility.
In a statement, Commissioner for Youths and Special Duties, Hon. Mika Amanokha, said the development is the first in a series of actions to enforce safety rules and regulations in the state, which were being flouted by business owners.
According to him, “during the inspection, it was discovered that the centre lacked adequate fire extinguishers in addition to inadequate entrance and exit points. The facility also does not have a functioning hose reel, while the stairway in the bar is not cleared.”
He said the centre will remain sealed until the management of the facility corrects the irregularities, warning that any attempt to flout the directive of the government will attract stiff penalty.
Meanwhile, concerned by the wave of fire outbreaks, the state government has commenced the implementation of the state fire service law, taking the campaign to the hotels, shopping malls and gas stations in Benin City, Edo State capital.
Amanokha, who represented the Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, during an inspection, said the state government will not condole acts that expose residents to danger of fire outbreaks.
The tour was carried out across several event centers, hotels, shopping malls, gas stations and other public places.
Amanokha noted, “The state will not waste time in charging managers of public places who do not abide by measures to forestall human-induced fire outbreaks.”
He said the goal of domesticating the fire service law in the state was to ensure that stakeholders, especially owners of public facilities make adequate provision for prompt, effective and remedial efforts during fire outbreak.
“This will serve as a means to prevent and manage fire outbreaks before the arrival of professional fire service men. It will also reduce casualties in the occasion of fire incidents,” he added.
Director, Edo State Fire Service, Mr. Franklin Agbonlahor, explained that the exercise was aimed at strengthening preparedness, prevention, and timely response to fire outbreaks, noting “This step is taken to prevent fire incidents. We have had a couple of incident such as the Pipeline Timber Market, in Benin City, Phill Hallmark Mall along Sapele road Benin City, where properties worth billions were lost to preventable fire outbreaks.”