Makinde Signs New Law, Gives Companies with Explosives Notice to Quit

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has signed into law, Executive Order 001, 2024 on the handling and storage of harmful substances in the state.

In a section of the order, the governor gave, on Wednesday, a 72-hour ultimatum to anyone in the state in possession of any kind of explosives to declare them.

According to PUNCH, the new law came about two weeks after an explosion rocked the state capital, Ibadan, on January 16, killing five persons, and injuring 77 others with 58 houses destroyed in the Adeyi area of Old Bodija, Ibadan.

While the Federal Government has launched a probe into the incident, Makinde had said preliminary investigation linked the explosion to some explosives illegally stored in the residential area by some miners.

“Failure to comply with the provisions of this Executive Order, including the doing of any act concerning, or omission to take proper precautions against any probable danger from any explosive in possession of any person, shall constitute an offense and shall be punishable under Chapter 38 of the Criminal Code Law, Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000 and any other applicable Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Makinde declared.

At a brief signing ceremony at the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan, on Wednesday, Makinde said the signing of the Executive Order became imperative in light of the January 16 incident.

According to him, the law is on the safe handling and storage of harmful substances in the state.

He expressed optimism that the new law would prevent a recurrence of the January 16 explosion in the state.

In the Executive Order, obtained by The PUNCH, the governor stated that it had become necessary to strengthen the existing regulatory framework connected with the handling of harmful substances “to ensure comprehensive risk mitigation and proactive prevention of accidents, misuse, or any other illegal or criminal activity involving harmful articles or substances.”

He declared, “Under Sections 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and all other laws and enabling powers in that regard I, Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde (FNSE), the Executive Governor of Oyo State of Nigeria, hereby makes the following order:

“All individuals resident in, and companies operating within Oyo State, in possession of (directly, indirectly or constructively by company directorship) harmful articles or substances of any kind (i.e., that can be detonated by pressure, heat, impact trigger, fuse, proximity, timing-device, remote control or howsoever), irrespective of quantity or purpose, or hazard characteristics, are hereby mandated to immediately notify the Special Adviser to the Governor of Oyo State on Security of such possession.

“Notification in paragraph 1 above, in respect of such substances already in possession as at the effective date of this order, shall be made within 72 hours of the effective date of this order, and subsequently, not later than 24 hours upon coming in possession of any such substances; and must include a comprehensive inventory detailing: the type, quantity, and precise location of all such substances possessed; the purpose of possession and any relevant licenses or permits held; and security measures currently in place for storage and handling.”

Makinde further ordered: “Upon receiving notification, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, in collaboration with the relevant security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Army Bomb Disposal Squad through the Office of the Garrison Commander, Ibadan, the Department of State Services, and the Nigeria Police Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technicians, shall expeditiously assess the risk posed by each reported case of such harmful substances’ possession.

“Cases deemed high-risk due to quantity, type, or storage conditions shall be prioritized for immediate evacuation and secure storage in the Magazines of the Nigerian Army or in any other safe location as determined by the BDS and/or the EOD,” adding, “All cases deemed high-risk shall be immediately isolated, disarmed and where necessary disposed of by the BDS and the EOD.

“For the avoidance of doubt, high-risk shall include cases of exceeding designated safe quantities; storage in unapproved or unsafe locations; where applicable possession is without or with fake End User Certificate issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser/without or with fake license/permit from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; or lacking proper security measures or raising concerns about potential misuse.”

He stressed that evacuation and storage shall be conducted by trained personnel of BDS and/or EOD and transported to designated state-approved facilities equipped with appropriate safety and security measures.

“Any company operating within Oyo State, manufacturing, storing, in possession of, distributing, purchasing, selling, transporting or howsoever dealing in, or using harmful articles or substances (with the characteristics listed in paragraph 1(1) above) for their operations shall file their Disaster Management and Mitigation Plans on the storage, transportation and handling such articles or substances together with photocopy of the End User Certificate and license/permit from FMMSD for every consignment or supply received by such companies to the Office the Special Adviser to the Governor of Oyo State on Security not later than the fifth (5th) day of every month,” the governor added.

On the cost of logistics, Makinde ordered that “The cost of logistics related to the evacuation and storage of harmful articles or substances, including transportation, manpower, and any use of specialized equipment, shall be borne by the individual or company in possession of such harmful articles or substances.

“Where the state government, due to urgency or high-risk situations, incurs the initial cost of logistics, the affected individual or company shall be required to reimburse the state in full within seven days of movement of such harmful articles or substances.

“The Special Adviser on Security to the Governor, in collaboration with the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and any other relevant security agencies, is authorized to take all necessary measures to ensure compliance with and enforce the provisions of this Order, including arrests, conducting inspections, and seizing non-compliant harmful articles or substances.”

According to the governor, the Executive Order takes effect immediately.

The governor proceeded to the ground zero of the blast after signing the Order.

While speaking with newsmen, Makinde said, “I just signed an Executive Order on the handling and storage of harmful substances. If you are caught in the state not following the law, the law will take its full course. There is zero tolerance on handling of harmful substances.”



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