Following the tragic fire at an illegal petrol depot in Benin, which resulted in 36 fatalities and severe burns for 23 people, the Beninese government is taking immediate action to prevent such incidents from happening again. The government has already held its first meeting with illegal fuel sellers to reorganize the sector and improve safety measures.
Key stakeholders in the sector were present at the meeting
On Saturday, while visiting the injured, Minister of State Romuald Wadagni announced that the government would engage in dialogue with these stakeholders to address this dangerous and illegal activity. The government is working to formalize the sector, thereby putting an end to the sale of gasoline in bottles in Benin. A program for retraining and deploying mini petrol stations is currently in progress.
“Some of the stakeholders will need to be retrained and provided with decent employment to support their families, enabling those who choose to remain in the industry to do so under entirely safe conditions. Last year, the government decided to order tens of thousands of these mini petrol stations. About 2,000 of them have arrived and are being installed. By 2024, we will have these mini stations all across the country,” he promised.
The government spokesperson indicates that these stakeholders are willing to support this formalization initiative, and their official stance will be known when they express themselves publicly. Another meeting will follow the one held on Monday, scheduled for next week.