Dr Mrs Ngozika Ozioko is the chairman, Ogige Market Traders’ Association, OMATA. She is also the vice president, Southeast Traders’ Association. She commends Gov Ugwuanyi for rebuilding the fire sector in the state, and begs him to fulfil his promise of building a fire service station at the market.
Her Rating on Enugu State Fire Service
First, I want to appreciate Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his exemplary leadership, which cascades down to the fire service sector. Also I want to commend the state chief fire officer, Engr Okwudiri Ohaa. Let me also commend the man in charge at Nsukka unit of the state fire service, Chief Omeh.
I appreciate the government for equipping the fire service agency in the state. Since I became the chairman of Ogige Traders’ Association, fire service personnel have been visiting our place, especially during the era of Covid-19. They were always there for us. I recall that they inflicted every part of the market with chemicals, just to ensure that we operate in a hygienic environment. Presently the agency equipped us with all kinds of fire fighting equipment. These instruments are in our office.
Let me also commend the efforts of Engr Ohaa, the chief fire officer. He is very responsive and passionate about his job. Each time he is called, he responds immediately. This also applies to Chief Omeh. The last time we had a fire outbreak in our market, within a spate of twenty minutes, they were there with two water trucks. That was how they were able to repel the fire from spreading to neighbouring shops which would have been devastating.
I further appreciate other workers in the agency for being proactive. All of them deserve kudos. They are reliable. I recall that there was a night that I travelled out, and there was a fire incident at Nru. Somebody called me to demand their number. Within fifteen minutes, they were there. I suggest that the salaries of the workers be increased because they deserve more.
Measures to avert fire outbreaks at Ogige Market
We have put up the request to our governor to build a fire service station in our market. He already sent the state commissioner for works to us. I showed him a space, which they measured. We expect Gov Ugwuanyi to build a fire service for us. He does not promise and fail. We look up to him to know if we can have the same fire service station as obtainable in Ogbete Main market. Ogige Market is the second largest market in Enugu State after Ogbete.
I also appeal to Engr Ohaa to remind our demand to His Excellency. We want to have a fire service station in our market to be able to contain any fire eventualities.
This was what happened during former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. Dr Nnamani built a fire service station at Ogbete Main Market, with a water truck. Such is a proactive measure against any fire outbreak.
Internal mechanisms to checkmate fire outbreaks within the market
As a rule, we switch on our power supply at 7am when the traders might have come. Then we switch it off at 6:30pm, which marks the closing for the day. We regulate it to avoid fire outbreak in the market.
Again we bought extra-fire extinguishers and kept them at strategic places in case of any fire outbreaks. The traders are also being sensitised on fire preventive measures.
Areas that require government attention
Generally, Ogige Market was built by individuals, even though the market is owned by the government. We need assistance from Enugu State Small and Medium Enterprises Agency. Traders should be made to benefit from their services to boost our businesses. We also need grants. I assure you that the traders will use such funds judiciously and righteously.
Advise for traders to be law-abiding
Already we are law-abiding. We have our constitution that guides us. We don’t joke with our businesses there, hence we pursue peace at all costs.
Tolerance for non-Igbos in the market
We have the presence of almost 36 states in that market. We welcome everybody. That is why things are working very well in the market. We accommodate all.