The Federal Government and two corporate organisations, including Dangote Cement Plc. and Zenith Bank Plc. on Wednesday visited the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to commiserate with him and the State on the recent explosions that rocked Abule Ado-Soba area of the State, which left more than 20 dead, and several injured, with properties worth billions of naira destroyed.
The Federal Government delegation was led to the State House, Marina, by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.
The minister lauded the prompt response of Governor Sanwo-Olu to the disaster, saying the joint emergency response efforts helped tremendously in the search and rescue operations after the explosions.
Farouq told the Governor that apart from coming to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolence message to the people of Lagos, she was in the State to follow up “on the on-the-spot assessments and to further visit the sites and commiserate with the victims.
“I am aware that the State government’s response has relied on a multi stakeholder approach; with key actors such as the Fire Service, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), NNPC, The Police, Red Cross and Fire services around Badagry, Festac and private bodies for the solidarity they have demonstrated working alongside with a view to rendering any assistance and disaster management expertise that may be required.”
Farouq noted that when disasters occur, it is necessary that all national, sub-national and private assets are utilized to ensure effective, quick and coordinated response to emergencies as we have witnessed in the Abule Ado Soba disaster.
She further stated that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is in Lagos to provide coordination support to the State Government’s effort.
She said: “There is directive to provide protection to displaced persons through the agencies of the Ministry, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and NEMA.”
The two corporate bodies which came in turns and led by Emmanuel Ikazoboh for Dangote Cement and Ebenezer Onyeagwu, who is Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, met the governor at the State House, Marina,
The two organisations expressed sadness over the incident, while announcing the donation of N100million each to the N2billion Fund earlier launched by the State government.
Ikazoboh announced the donation of N100million worth of cement for reconstruction of the damaged part of Abule Ado, which was affected by the explosion, while Zenith Bank made a donation of the same amount for the care of victims of the disaster, even as he pledged for more in the course of time.
Ikazoboh said that the visit to the governor was to introduce the new management of the company and to commiserate with him on the sad incident that took place at Abule Ado.
He stated that the management had directed that N100million worth of cement be donated towards reconstruction of the explosion site.
“We are specifically here to inform the governor of the change in top management of Dangote, the former Group Managing Director, Engineer Joseph Makoju has retired and Michel Puchercos took over from him.
“The other reason is to commiserate with the governor and to pledge our support that we would help in the reconstruction of the damaged part of the site.
“We have been directed by the management of the company to make available N100million worth of cement for rebuilding of the damaged portion of Abule Ado,” he said.
On his part, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, Onyeagwu, told the Governor, that he was there to reassure him of the bank’s support in taking care of the people affected by the explosion as well as commiserate with the State government on the incident.
According to him, the Sunday incident initially appeared like a movie until it was later confirmed. The visit was also to thank the State government for its prompt approach in handling the traumatic experience, praying that God would comfort the families of those affected by the explosion.
He announced a donation of N100m.
“Zenith Bank is making an immediate donation of N100million. We hope it would ameliorate the suffering of the victims. We pray God would console the families of those who died during the disaster.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu thanked the Federal Government, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari for granting him audience in the wake of the disaster.
He said the State Government had made a move by immediately relocating the displaced victims to the State’s internally displaced persons centre for proper care.
He assured the Minister that the investigative committee will share necessary information that may be required by the Federal Government.
Sanwo-Olu also expressed appreciation for the visit and the donation by both Dangote Cement and Zenith Bank.
He equally thanked Nigerians, Lagosians as well as other corporate organisations for their contribution and donations to the N2billion Abule Ado explosion emergency relief fund, assuring that the funds would be transparently managed.