Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Piqued by the colossal failure of the State Fire Service to combat the fire that gutted Ochanja Market on Wednesday, Governor Willie Obiano has announced his resolve to grant the Anambra State Fire Service an agency status.
By granting the Fire Service greater autonomy, which however, is subject to the approval by the Anambra State House of Assembly, Obiano said he intends to make it independent of the state Ministry of Public Utilities or any other ministry.
The governor has also opened a bank account, ‘Anambra State Victims Support Account,’ to assist the fire victims following alleged request by people seeking to be of assistant to the victims of the fire incident.
Disclosing this, the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C. Don Adinuba said the fund would be administered by the trustees of Anambra State Security Trust Fund led by the Chairman of Chisco Group, Chief Chidi Anyaegbu.
Adinuba who urged Anambra indigenes, friends, in laws and well-wishers to give generously to their brothers and sisters who were now in dire need of assistance said: “The government is grateful to these people and many others who are moved by the tragedy. Truly, we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
“Governor Willie Obiano has, therefore, opened a bank account to assist the fire victims. It is known as the Anambra State Victims Support Account. The account number is 5030105029, Fidelity Bank Plc.
“It is to be administered by the distinguished sons and daughters of our state who serve as trustees of the Anambra State Security Trust Fund led by Chief Chidi Anyaegbu, Chairman of Chisco Group.”
On the repositioning of the fire service he said: “Meanwhile, Governor Willie Obiano has initiated a move to grant the Anambra State Fire Service greater autonomy. Subject to approval by the Anambra State House of Assembly, the law setting up the state Fire Service will be amended to make it independent of the state Ministry of Public Utilities or any other ministry.
“The autonomy will free it from unnecessary bureaucratic encumbrances and enable it to respond more effectively to the challenges of its mandate.
“Consequently, the agency will have as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Air Vice Marshall Ben Chiobi, who is currently the Special Adviser to the Anambra State Governor on Creative Security as well as Coordinator of the Anambra State Integrated Security System.”