Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday stated that in order to avert disaster and resultant loss of lives and properties in the state, his administration has scaled up the monitoring and surveillance capacities of relevant state agencies to ensure compliance with appropriate laws.
The Governor who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Tunji Bello at the 3rd Lagos State Emergency and Disaster Preparedness summit with the Theme: “Promoting and Sustaining Integrated Response to Emergencies within the Golden Hour” added that the administration would also apply sanctions as may be deemed necessary to those who run foul of the provisions.
He said the Government believed that taking necessary steps and precautions to avert disaster where possible is an integral part of effective disaster and emergency management, stressing that poor emergency management can result to substantial reversal of gains recorded in critical sectors of the economy.
He explained that the Government may not have control over the occurrence of natural disaster but can mitigate the effects when such occur depending on how prepared the government was in terms of skilled manpower, availability of necessary equipment and response time.
Mr. Ambode stated that the recent events in some parts of the State have reinforced the need for the Government to take proactive steps to avert disasters and possible loss of lives and properties.
He reiterated the firm commitment of the present administration to the promotion of safety and emergency management culture by adopting best practices and deploying best resources available.
The Governor stressed that this year’s theme is more appropriate as some parts of the country and the world are witnessing an unprecedented increase in cases of flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, hurricanes among others.
He said the State Government also shares the vision of the neighbouring DAWN States in promoting effective, sustainable emergency response templates and ultimately every citizen’s safety; while stressing that Lagos Government is open to learning from states that have faced such challenges.
He said one of the key steps taken by his administration to promote greater efficiency among the various Departments and Agencies with responsibility for managing emergencies in the state is the creation of the Safety Arena.
“The idea is to bring together these agencies whose duties are dependent and complementary within the same complex. These agencies include the Fire Service Department; Environmental Health Department; Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS); State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (SEHMU); Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA); Safety Commission; Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA); Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC); Nigerian Legion amongst others”, he explained.
He stated further that since the movement of these Agencies into the Safety Arena , the state has not only witnessed an improved synergy in its activities but there has been significant improvement in its prompt response to emergency issues.
Mr. Ambode called on all participants to effectively utilize the opportunity made available at this summit to review existing strategies, identify the gaps and proffer solutions that will enhance the capacity response to emergencies within the shortest time possible.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo noted that in a bid to continually promote prompt response management, the Ministry set aside these two days to plan, partner and share experiences with various organizations so as to ensure that the capability improvement process is strengthened and sustained.
He urged all attendees to make the best use of this opportunity and endeavour to provide feedback to the State Government on how to promote safety and make emergency management more sustainable.