Inferno: FCTA To Sanction Filling Stations Violating Safety Measures

By: Tony Odey

In a bid to curtail incidences of fire outbreak in the nation’s capital, authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) have vowed to sanction any Filling Station that fails to observe necessary safety measures required by law.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mr. Olusade Adesola, issued the threat on Wednesday, while inaugurating a Ministerial Task Force on the safe handling of petroleum products in the Territory.

The Permanent Secretary said that improper handling of petroleum products as well as non -compliance with safety measures as it concerns operational guidelines of managing Filling Stations have been largely responsible for several fire outbreak in most of our Filling Stations.

Adesola, who recalled that in 2022 alone, not less than four Filling Stations were reported to have been gutted by fire in the Territory, expressed optimism that the Ministerial Task Force would work assiduously to reduce occurrences of fire outbreak by ensuring that operators of Filling Stations adhere strictly with safety measures.

He said that the inauguration of the Committee is a proactive measure by Government aimed at securing the lives and properties of the residents.

While stressing the need for the Committee to sensitize and engage owners and operators of Filling Stations, the Permanent Secretary directed that Filling Stations must acquire and install firefighting equipment as well as training and retraining of their personnel on the handling of firefighting gadjets.

Adesola charged the Committee to begin massive sensitization and engagement this rainy season, given the fact that most cases of fire outbreak in Filing Stations usually happens during the dry season.

The Permanent Secretary said the Committee’s Terms of Reference include:
To monitor and ensure compliance to safe timing of uploading and offloading of volatile substances such as PMS and LPG; monitor and ensure that all Filling Stations have functional, basic and relevant fire and personnel safety equipment; ensure that Filling Stations have trained fire Safety Officers; and monitor and ensure that volatile substances are not off-loaded with vehicles or customers already waiting within the Filling State premises.

Others are: Clamp down on “Black Marketers” and Filling Stations conniving with them; recommend the closure of Filling Stations violating basic fire safety and those find colluding with “Black Markers”; recommend other safety measures to the Federal Capital Territory Administration as they may deem necessary, in the overall interest of public safety.

Accordingly, the Ministerial Task Force, which is to Chaired by Mr. Idris Abbas, the Director-General of FCT Emergency Management Agency has members being drawn from FCT Emergency Management Agency, Department of Development Control, FCTA Fire Service Department, FCTA Department of Security Services, Department of State Security Services (DSS),the Nigerian Police Force (FCT Command), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and National Union of Road Transport Workers, Representatives of NNPC Upstream and Downstream Sectors, Representatives of Major Petroleum Marketers Association and Representatives of Independent Marketers Association.

Responding, the Chairman of the Ministerial Task Force, Mr. Idris Abbas, thanked the Permanent Secretary for finding them credible and capable to handle this sensitive assignment.

He assured the Administration that his Committee would work assiduously to deliver on the outlined terms of reference.