The Lagos State House of Assembly has commenced moves to strengthen the state’s Fire Service Agency as the bill to establish the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Agency had passed the second reading.
The House Committee Chairman on Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Mr Kazeem Adewale, said this during plenary on Thursday.
He said that the bill would address the lacuna in the extant fire service law.
Adewale said that if the bill is passed into law, it would ensure reduction in fire outbreaks in the state, adding that the bill would also reposition the fire service agency to be a world class service provider.
The lawmaker added that it would also empower the fire service agency to respond quickly to fire incidents in the state, and give sufficient opportunity for government to control the rate of fire outbreaks in the state.
He said: “It will help to address the lacuna in the extant law. The bill will address issues concerning victims of fire outbreak.
“The bill will also help in controlling fire outbreaks. The bill will help in prosecuting defaulters . There will be maximum reduction in outbreak after the bill must have been passed into law.”
Contributing, Mr Muyiwa Jimoh (Apapa II) said that the content of the bill is fundamentally different from the extant law, suggesting that the word ‘Rescue’ should be expunged from the title.
Jimoh suggested that areas of bureaucratic bottleneck in the bill which would affect the effective operation of the proposed agency should be amended.
Mr Gbolahon Yishawu (Eti-Osa II) said some of the contents of the bill were in the extant law but that would not stop the house from repealing areas that are not in tandem with current realities.
Yishawu advised the committee to carefully look at some of the clauses of the bill which might clash with the responsibility of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).
He added that the inter-agency collaboration should be expressly stated in the bill so that there would not be rivalry among them.
Also, the Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, stated that the state government had painstakingly studied the challenges of fire incidents and that coming up with the bill should be applauded by the lawmakers.
Agunbiade faulted Clause 18 (3) of the bill, adding that it did not specify those to benefit from the reward fund.
He suggested that beneficiaries should be clearly spelt out, supporting the Clause which stated that the governor must approve the service of the fire service agency outside the state.
However, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who presided over the plenary, urged the committee to critically look at the contributions made by the lawmakers to have an all-encompassing law.
Eshinlokun-Sanni then committed the bill to the house committee on special duties to send in their report in two weeks. (NAN)