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Sunday, 27 December 2015

The Nnewi fire tragedy: An Avoidable Act of Negligence

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The Nnewi Fire Tragedy: An Avoidable Act of Negligence

December 27, 2015

"Fire incidents in Nigeria provoke a fit of temper. This is because in most fire incidents, the common denominator is usually negligence on the part of the person(s) who caused the fire, the victims and the owner(s) of the property, who have failed to adhere to fire safety measures. The Nnewi fire tragedy was not heavenly designed, it was man-made and an act of negligence. And it was avoidable.

The tragic fire incident that happened at a gas station in Nnewi on Christmas eve strengthens the need for the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Federal Fire Service, the Department of Petroleum Resources, and other relevant government institutions that have statutory roles to play in ensuring health and safety in oil and gas industry to wake up to their responsibilities. 

With Nigeria’s influence in Africa as the largest economy one would expect that health and safety should top the list of federal government’s (FG) priorities. But the absence of a defined health and safety body backed by law, as was envisaged in Occupational Safety and Health Bill 2012, casts a shadow over FG’s commitment to providing measures for workplace health and safety."

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