Less than 20 days after the inferno that ravaged Akesan market in Oyo Town, Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State, is currently in Turkey, putting finishing touches to the purchase of fire-fighting equipment for the state.
After the inspection, it was learnt that it would take the Turkish auto company close to 6 months before delivering them to the state.
The governor was in company on Mr. Dare Adeleke, who chairs the Pacesetters Transport Service, PTS; Mogaji Akin Fagbemi who is the chairman of the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority, OYRTMA and others.
Makinde, it would be recalled, had during his visit to victims of the inferno, promised his administration’s bid to buy 10 fire-fighting trucks
The State’s Commissioner for Infrastructure, Transportation and Public Works, Professor Raphael Afonja, who made the disclosure while undertaking an on-the-spot assessment of the fire-ravaged Akesan Market, (Oja Akesan) in Oyo town, had said that the process that would lead to the acquisition of the equipment would start on Monday (today).
This was after he revealed that the Makinde administration inherited a Fire Service Department with weakened capacity as a result of obsolete equipment.
This is just as he revealed that the incumbent administration had flagged off a process of rehabilitating the serviceable fire-fighting trucks so as to provide immediate service to the people.
He also stated that the process of rehabilitating the inherited trucks was still ongoing when the outbreak of fire incidents occurred repeatedly.
The Commissioner had said: “The last time fire-fighting equipment was procured in the state was in 2006. The present government has, however, kick-started the rehabilitation of the few serviceable fire-fighting trucks. The one that was vandalised in Oyo was just repaired the day before when it developed gear problems after returning from an assignment.
“Last month we engaged a company that will help us refurbish and salvage some of our existing trucks including the one that was vandalized in Oyo.
“We are also publishing by tomorrow (Monday) the tender request that will allow companies to bid for and supply the State with 10 modern fire-fighting trucks through an open and competitive process.”