16th May, 2011
At least 4,035 fire incidents and 31 cases of collapsed buildings were recorded in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria in the last four years, the state government has disclosed.
Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Alhaji Babatunde Balogun, who said this at the weekend, added that the fire services received 4,035 calls which it responded to appropriately.
The fire incidents and 31 collapsed buildings recorded are official figures compiled by the state government. There may have been other fire incidents not recorded and unknown to the government.
â€œSince the inception of this administration in 2007, a total number of 4,724 emergency calls were recorded and attended to promptly. We had 4,035 fire calls and 277 rescue calls. We also have 31 cases of collapsed building and 381 false calls,â€ he stated.
However, the commissioner condemned the exclusive control of matters relating to Christian and Muslim pilgrimage by the Federal Government and called for a decentralisation of the operations to facilitate better management.
Balogun who described the centralisation and absolute control as unnecessary and needless, urged the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency effect the decentralisation.
He stated that for Hajj operation, the Saudi Airlines is the preferred carrier for the operations if handled by the state.
Balogun explained that the only aspect of the hajj operations in the purview of the state was the accommodation of pilgrims in Mecca, adding that all others were determined nationally.
The commissioner stated that over 4,000 intending pilgrims applied for this yearâ€™s Hajj, disclosing that the state had only been allotted 390 seats.
Balogun, while assuring a hitch-free operation also declared that the Christian Pilgrimage had challenges occasioned by the centralisation of the process.
According to him, the non- adherence to the calendar earlier released created challenges for the management of this yearâ€™s pilgrimage, adding that the size of aircraft provided and the security situation affected the exercise.
Balogun disclosed that between 2007 and 2010, 5,904 pilgrims went on the platform of the Christian Pilgrim Welfare Board to Jerusalem while 15,891 Muslims went on hajj to Saudi Arabia with the Muslims pilgrims board during the same period.