Lagos explosion: Senate orders probe
The Senate on Tuesday directed its Joint Committee on Petroleum to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the recent Lagos explosion to prevent reoccurrence.
The Senate also commiserated with the victims is of the incident and observed a minute silence in honour of those who lost their lives.
It resolved to send a high powered delegation to Lagos and write a condolence letter to the Government and people of Lagos State over the unfortunate incident.
The upper chamber further called on the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to immediately send relief materials to affected victims and offset medical bills of hospitalized victims.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government and members of the National Assembly to donate to the N2 billion Abule -Ado Emergency Relief Fund.
The upper chamber also directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to enforce the rule of the right of way of Pipelines and regard those living within unauthorized areas as illegal occupants.
The resolutions of the Senate followed a motion moved by Senator Solomon Adeola (Lagos West), on the, “Urgent need to investigate explosion at Abule-Aso, Amuwo-Odofin LGA resulting in loss of lives and massive destruction of properties.”
The motion was co-sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Senator Osinowo Sikiru Adebayo.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan in his contribution advised the executive to always take Senate resolutions seriously.
“The executive should implement the resolutions we passed in October on pipeline fires in Lagos,” Lawan said.
He further called on truck drivers to desist from overloading their vehicles.
He urged authorities in charge of urban town planning not to give approvals for people to build near pipelines.
“If it happens, such houses should be demolished,” Lawan said.
Senator Adeola in his lead debate urged the Senate to note that in the early hours of Sunday, March 15, 2020, a massive explosion occurred at a point in Abule-Ado near the Lagos Trade Fair Complex, along the Lagos Badagry Expressway in Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos State.
He further said that “the explosion caused no fewer than 23 deaths including that of a family of four on their way to a church service as well as the death of the school principal of Bethlehem Girls College, Rev. Sister Henrietta Alokha, who died while rescuing her students.”
He added: “Regrets that the explosion suspected to have been caused by an articulated vehicle loaded with granites hitting a filled gas cylinders or pressuring NNPC pipeline at a point near NNPC’s 2B pipeline right of way.
“It injured hundreds of persons, totally destroyed multi-billion naira properties and businesses including 200 building and 2,500 vehicles within a radius of over 40 square meters of the blast in the densely populated neighborhood as well as other collateral destruction many kilometers away.
“Aware that there have been a recurrence of similar explosions in recent times in the same area as happened in 2016, 2018 (Abule-Egba), 2019 (Abule Egba) 2020 (Ijegun), and also 2020 (Ile-Epo, Oke-Odo) all in Lagos West Senatorial District.
“Worried that Nigerians living around this axis or going about their legitimate endeavors now live in justifiable fear of not only losing their lives or those of love ones from these frequent explosive fire disasters but also their properties and investments.
“Commends officers and men of NEMA, LASEMA, Lagos State and Federal Fire Services, Nigerian Navy and Airforce, other security agencies, NNPC and ordinary Nigerians on their prompt roles in putting out the inferno resulting from the explosion and mitigating its spread as well as rescuing victims.
“Further commends the Lagos State Government for its prompt response to the national disaster particularly the setting up of the ‘Abule-Ado Emergency Relief Fund’ worth N2 Billion for the victims with initial take off of N200 million.”
Senators Oluremi Tinubu, James Manager, George Sekibo, Uche Ekwunife, Ajayi Borofice Jibrin Barau, Sani Musa and Sam Egwu, among others, supported the motion.