Friday, 24 February 2017

ONICCIMA Kicks against inciting Fuel stations at residential areas

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Following the recent fire disaster in Onitsha which rendered many families homeless, the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has called on the various regulatory agencies to stop giving approvals for location of petrol service stations in residential and densely populated areas.

The Director-General of ONICCIMA, Dominic Ajibo, who stated this in a press statement made available to on Thursday said that, “considering the enormity of damages in the last week's Wednesday, Feb 15,2017 inferno which ravaged no fewer than 13 buildings, 15 vehicles and many businesses at the Upper New Market Road area of the commercial city.

“The losses, in the views of ONICCIMA, would not have been so high if the petrol service station where the fire started was not located within such densely populated residential area of the city.

“However, the people of Onitsha, in Anambra State, were thrown into wailing and sorrows, as evening fire engulfed sections of the popular Upper New Market Road and Oguta Road of the famous commercial city. The fire incident emanated from a petrol tanker fully loaded with PMS, which fell in the Mobil filling station located at the DMGS roundabout, spilling its deadly contents into the gutters and the whole vicinity around 8:00p.m.

“In a twinkle of an eye, the entire area went into flames. At the end of the inferno, property, including, electronic shops, law firms; the famous Joeson Bookshop; a filling station; high rise residential and office buildings; and vehicles worth billions of naira were completely destroyed. 

“The Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture sends her deep condolences to all the victims of this sad incident and thanks God that at least, no life was lost. 

“The Chamber expresses concern over the increasing rate of location of Petroleum service stations in densely populated and residential areas in our urban and cosmopolitan cities in country.

 “We urge the relevant regulatory federal and state authorities to ensure that filling stations are located only in suitable designated areas, while ensuring that the already existing ones in residential areas be made to incorporate adequate fire safety measures and equipment."

Lamenting the poor response ability of the state Fire and other emergency Services, the Director General called for better fire fighting approach in the state, even as he appealed for timely assistance of the victims of the fire outbreak.



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