Lagos Seeks Compensation for Abule Egba Fire Victims
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said his government will have meet the management of federal government controlled Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to discuss on issues of compensation for victims of the January 19 pipeline fire in Abule Egba.
Speaking on Saturday during a visit to the over 300 victims of the unfortunate incident housed at the Igando Emergency Relief Camp in Alimosho local government area of the state, Mr Sanwo-Olu further said government will also discuss with the corporation on measures to be taken in finding a lasting solution to incidents of pipeline vandalism in the state.
Mr Sanwo-Olu described the incident as a “regrettable disaster”, saying government felt the pain of the innocent victims who bore the losses of the pipeline vandalism.
The Governor explained that the state took the step to resettle the victims at the Igando relief camp to ensure they were not left to their fate and in deplorable conditions in their moments of despair.
“For the period the victims will be in settled in the relief camp, we will ensure our responsibility both medically and nutrition-wise; we will take care of them until the coast is cleared for them to return to their community,” the Governor promised.
On the compensation plan, the Governor said it would be extended to those whose properties were razed in the inferno, adding that some of the victims who rented homes in the area would also be supported to re-adjust back to their normal lives.
“As a responsible government, we need to go back and have a thorough discussion with NNPC on what kind of lasting solution we are expecting and compensation we can make available for the victims, so that we can resettle them back into their community. We will also be looking at various forms of affordable accommodation for some of them, who rent homes in the community.
“We have taken enumeration and we know the status of each of the displaced families that are clustered in this relief camp. We will work with the records for the compensation and everyone of them will be reintegrated back to their community,” he informed the victims, who were happy with the words of the Governor and described the relief programme as an “unexpected gesture”.
It would be recalled that Mr Sanwo-Olu was on a week-long working visit to the United Kingdom (UK) with President Muhammadu Buhari when the incident occurred. However, his deputy, Mr Obafemi Hamzat, led cabinet members and top government officials on a visit to the scene of the fire last Tuesday.