Panel on Edo Ministry fire submits report, raises concern

The panel of Inquiry set up by Edo State Government to investigate the fire outbreak at the Ministry of Higher Education yesterday submitted its report to Governor Adams Oshiomhole in Government House Benin City, raising concern over the indiscriminate siting of fuel stations in residential areas.

Chairman of the panel, Justice Roland Amaize (rtd) said the panel received twenty two memoranda from members of the public and a total of twenty three witnesses testified before the panel.

He said “the report consist of the main report and two other volumes. I hope the recommendation of the panel would assist the government in stemming a reoccurrence in future.”

He drew the Governor’s attention to the danger in locating petrol stations in residential areas and vital government ministries, saying this portends grave danger to the people.

Speaking after receiving the report, Governor Oshiomhole commended the committee and said it would study the report with a view to implementing it.

According to him “I want to thank you for accepting to assist the state government to look into the possible causes of the fire incident. It is clear that this would not have stopped has happened. I am confident that if we learn the right lessons from what has happened it would be possible to prevent a reoccurrence.

“We will study the report, look at the executive summary and hope the report would help us. I want to thank you for drawing our attention to the possible danger that would arise from indiscriminate approval by the Ministry of Lands and Survey for people to locate petrol stations in residential areas. It is something that we ought to have known. It is a pity that for a long time the Ministry of Lands and Survey never bordered to do its work.

“If you wanted to build a house along Akpakpava Road, they were going to approve it. The result is that all kinds of structures are all over Benin City. This is unfortunate”, he said.

He noted “it is bad enough when structures obstruct the right of way but it is a serious safety issue when structures like petrol stations are located near residential areas. If this incident helps us to reflect deeper and take steps to prevent future re-occurrence, then the trouble you have taken is worth it”.

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