By Monsuru Olowoopejo
After accessing level of damage at site of the gas explosion in Abule-Ado in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has inaugurated a 16-man committee to investigate the cause of gas explosion within the axis.
The inauguration came hours after Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), disclosed that the death toll from the explosion has increased to 17 persons and 25 others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
Sanwo-Olu in an interview with newsmen on Monday, disclosed that the committee has less than two weeks to unravel cause(s) of the explosion that has displaced hundreds of residents and destroyed property worth millions of naira.
He noted that to fast-track the exercise, the Deputy-Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, will chair the committee, stressing that the outcome of the committee will assist the government to prevent future occurrence in the state.
The governor also set up a N2 billion relief fund for victims of Sunday’s explosion, saying, the state government would be committing N250 million to the fund immediately, while corporate organisations and spirited individuals were expected to support with donations for the victims of the explosion.
While appealing to individuals and corporate organisations to contribute into the fund, Sanwo-Olu said: “I have set up Abule Ado Emergency Relief Fund; it is N2 billion relief fund and the state government will immediately put in N250 million to that fund and overnight, I have gotten three banks to open an account for that fund and what that are we trying to achieve?
“This is beyond what the state government can achieve on its own. This is beyond what a government, nation or state level can undertake on its own, I am aware that some of my fellow governors have called, and have also received phone calls from the private sector, so what this fund will do is to give everybody the opportunity to be part of it and to be able to donate into it.
“Of course, the utilisation of this fund, which will also be headed by the deputy governor will also be part of the responsibility the committee will be saddled with. Just to know we are serious and are committed to it. I have three account numbers already: I have the Polaris Bank, with the account number-4030017510 account name is Abule Ado Emergency Relief Fund,” he said.
Other account numbers are: Zenith Bank, with account number-10171845716 and GTB, with account number-0568615688.
On the committee, other members were Commissioner for Special Duties, Bamgbose-Martins (co-chairman), Commissioner for education; Folashade Adefisayo, Commissioner for finance; Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo, Commissioner for the environment; Tunji Bello, Commissioner for the ministry of physical planning; Dr. Idris Salako, Permanent Secretary(P. S), ministry of Health; Dr. Segun Ogboye, P. S, Ministry of works and infrastructure; Olujimi Hotonu.
Also, Nigerian Police; either the Commissioner of police or deputy commissioner of police, Senior special assistant to the Governor on security, Chairman of the Amuwo-Odofin Local Government, Representative of the NNPC; Mrs Ada Oyetunde, National emergency management authority (NEMA), Representative of the Community Development Committee (CDC) and Community Development Association (CDA), representative of the host community and representative of St. Bethlehem Girls college.