Oyo State Government is set to acquire 10 modern fire-fighting equipment through a competitive bidding process.
The State’s Commissioner for Infrastructure, Transportation and Public Works, Professor Raphael Afonja, who made the disclosure on Sunday, January 5, 2020, while undertaking an on-the-spot assessment of the fire-ravaged Akesan Market, (Oja Akesan) in Oyo town, said the process that would lead to the acquisition of the equipment would start on Monday, January 6, 2020.
This position is coming on the heels of fire incidents that led to loss of lives and destruction of goods and properties worth multi-million naira in Ibadan and Oyo.
Earlier in a post on his Facebook and Twitter handles, Governor Makinde sympathized with the victims of the Akesan Market and promised to get to the roots of the incident.
The Governor wrote: “I received with shock, the news of the fire outbreak at Oja Akesan in Oyo Town, in the early hours of this morning (Sunday morning). Words cannot convey my deep sadness at this incident and I sympathise with the victims. I appeal for calm as we investigate the circumstances around the unfortunate incident.”
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor and the Commissioner for Works, speaking on the unfortunate fire incident that ravaged Akesan market in Oyo Town in the early hours of Sunday.
The Commissioner for Works in the company of Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Kehinde Ayoola and the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Health, visited the scene of the incident at the Akesan Market and were also at the Palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.
He stated that the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration inherited a Fire Service Department with weakened capacity as a result of obsolete equipment.
According to him, the incumbent Government in Oyo State had flagged off a process of rehabilitating the serviceable fire-fighting trucks so as to provide immediate service to the people; noting that the process of rehabilitating the inherited trucks was still ongoing when the outbreak of fire incidents occurred repeatedly.
The Commissioner said: “The last time fire-fighting equipment was procured in the State was in 2006. The present Government has, however, kick-started the rehabilitation of the few serviceable fire-fighting trucks. The one that was vandalized in Oyo was just repaired the day before when it developed gear problems after returning from an assignment. Last month, we engaged a Company that will help us refurbish and salvage some of our existing trucks including the one that was vandalized in Oyo.”
He added that: “We are also publishing by tomorrow (Monday) the tender request that will allow companies to bid for and supply the State with 10 modern fire-fighting trucks through an open and competitive process.”