Safety And Emergency: Watt Market Fire On My Mind BY PRINCEWILL ODIDI

In Breaking News, Columnists, Health, National News, Opinion, Reports

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

One reason why services are poorly delivered today in Nigeria is because government is given the responsibility to do everything. Democracy was not really designed to work this way.

I read that fire service had no water and or petrol to tackle the fire in Watt market yesterday. Part of it is corruption, lack of funding or people just don’t know their jobs. Go and check the budgets of fire departments in the state and federal you will be amazed. You see, at the end of the day we all suffer because we gave government too much responsibility when the government itself is ineffective.

There are people who inbox me saying why do you always compare Nigeria with developed countries? My answer is that some countries are called developed because they do things differently and it works. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, let us just copy what they do, how they do it, we will definitely get it right.

In developed climes, in most cases it is not the government that funds emergency and safety directly, the people do it indirectly through small levies. The government gathers these levies and channel them to the proper executing agencies. We cannot sit down waiting for federal allocations before we can manage our emergencies like fire.

This is how it is done in developed countries. Whenever you pay your phone bills or purchase telephone recharge cards, a small percentage is deducted. Example, for every one thousand Naira recharge card, just ten Naira is deducted into the Emergency Safety and environment account. The telecommunications companies remit these payments monthly. The funds are not used for any other thing than emergencies.

The people will not feel this insignificant deductions from their phone recharge cards, but this amount at the end of the day because it is collected from so many people runs into millions. It is remitted by the phone companies directly to emergency departments and sanitation units of the city.

At the end of the day, since so many people are buying recharge cards daily, the amounts accruing to the government is so much that the government can afford to fund emergency call centers, brand new fire and emergency trucks can easily be bought, the streets will always be clean because evacuators will have equipment and their staff always paid on time.

When our leaders visit foreign countries, they spend time eating in porsche restaurants and shopping instead of attempting to learn how the white man gets it right with service delivery. We cannot continue to pretend all is well, what it takes to do it right is so insignificant.

I sympathize with shop owners in Watt market. For some of them life will never be the same again. I sympathize with them more because in Nigeria we do not even have insurance programs to cover fire emergencies for business owners, even if we do, they will not pay and they state will do nothing to enforce compliance and remittance because even the state system is compromised against the people.

Let me raise these alert for Calabar residents, be on alert that more dangerous than the Watt market fire, Calabar town sits on a major time bomb. What do I mean?

There’s a gas pipeline running underneath the city from the calabar seaport to the airport. It transports Aviation fuel. Anything can happen. The day that pipeline accidentally breaks and guts on fire, without an effective fire service station equipped enough with water and chemicals to handle gas flares of such magnitude, the entire city of Calabar may be razed to the ground.

What bothers me is whether our leaders have the capacity to implement development footprints, or whether they just don’t care, or whether they are clueless on how governance works remains a mute question.

As I have said previously, development is no magic, it is smart thinking and policy effectiveness. Until our political leaders decide to do things right, we still have a long way to go as a people.

Princewill Odidi, a Social Commentator writes from Atlanta USA.

NOTE:Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Princewill Odidi, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism


CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.

Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.

Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.

CLICK HERE

New Feature: Don't miss any of our news again.Get all our articles in your facebook chat box.Click the Facebook Messenger Icon below to subscribe now

Text Advert by CRWatch :Place Yours

Will You To Learn How To Make Millions Of Naira Making Special Creams From Your Kitchen?.Click Here


Expose Your Business And Make More Sales. Advertise On CrossRiverWatch.com Today

You may also read!

If You’re Working You Don’t Need To Write It, Aisha Yesufu Tackles Gov. Ayade (VIDEO)

By Archibong Jeremiah Aisha Yesufu, a Nigerian socio-political activist, and co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement has

Read More...

Success Is Not Sexually Transmitted, UNICROSS VC Warn Students to Shun Vices

By Kelvin Ololo The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cross River State (UNICROSS) Prof. Augustine Oko Angba has

Read More...

#EndPoliceBrutality: Panel Reconvenes, Trash 11 Petitions, Adjourns To March 4

By Patrick Obia and Rachel Idim Cross River State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into Police Brutality and Restitution has

Read More...

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu

Share this now