Kano state Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has advised the Federal government to enact legislation to restrict smoking cigarettes in all public places.
He said such regulation is necessary to prevent recurrence of environmental problems such as fire outbreaks and health hazards.
The governor made the call while receiving the Comptroller General, Federal Fire Service, Mr. Joe Garba Anebi, who visited him in Kano, pointing out that “it is in the best societal interest for all public premises to be smoke free.”
He was of the opinion that cigarette smoking in public domains ought to be regularized as obtained in most developed countries, adding that some fire incidents in Kano, for instance, have been linked to careless disposal of cigarettes.
“In advanced countries, smoking cigarette recklessly is not acceptable in view of its consequences on the environment and public health. We should put in place such laws especially to curtail fire outbreaks, which often lead to heavy loss of property, like the colossal fire incident we had not too long ago at Sabon Gari market”, the governor maintained.
Governor Ganduje said that in recent times, eight market fire incidents took place in Kano, stating however, that the one that occurred at Sabon Gari market severely affected the economy of the state, in view of the huge loss incurred.
He described the selection of the state for the National Conference on Fire under the theme ”The Menace of Market Fire in Nigeria”, as timely, considering the efforts of the state government to improve its capacity for fire services management.
Governor Ganduje promised that the conference resolutions and recommendations would be utilized by the state., assuring that already, measures have been taken in all the major markets in the state with a view to averting recurrence of the fire outbreaks.
The Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Joe Garba Anebi told the governor that the conference was initially slated to hold in Anambra state, pointing out that after a careful scrutiny of the theme, the Minister of Interior, General Abdurrahman Dambazau advised for the transfer of the programme to Kano based on recent fire incidents in the state.
Garba commended the state government for adopting some of the recommendations offered by the Service during fire incidents in the state, which he noted, were now yielding positive results.