Fire outbreak: N1.3 trillion worth of property saved by firefighters in 2020 ― FG

THE Federal Government has disclosed that the Federal Fire Service was able to save 1,110 human lives and property worth N1.3 trillion from fire outbreaks in 2020 during which it responded to 3,555 distress calls.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made this known on Thursday at the Commissioning Ceremony of a Modern Aerial Fire-fighting vehicle at the Federal Fire Service, Zone F Command, Lagos, in Lagos State.

He reiterated the call for collaborative efforts by all tiers of government, corporate bodies as well as individuals, in a bid to check the incessant fire disasters in the country, Director, Press & Public Relations, Mr Mohammed Manga, said in a statement in Abuja.

According to him, “State Governments have to raise their game on firefighting. With the best of efforts, the Federal Government can only supplement States efforts, not replace them. Even Local Governments should have fire management capability.”

In a speech titled, “Towards National Fire Safety”, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said, “without doubt, uncontrolled fires represent a serious security, economic and developmental threat all over the world. The prevalence of fire incidents in Nigeria is undoubtedly a source of concern to all levels of government and individuals alike, thus, the need for collaborative effort to check the menace cannot be overemphasized.”

Aregbesola who said that hitherto, FFS was only present in Lagos and Abuja as Federal Capital Territories respectively, with obsolete equipment and epileptic services, stated further that, under the present administration, the agency has spread to nearly all the states of the federation.

He disclosed that the Federal Executive Council at its meeting two weeks ago, approved the procurement of 94 fire service vehicles which include 44 fire trucks, 15 water tankers, 15 Rapid Intervention Vehicles and 20 Basic Life Support Ambulances; in addition to 106 modern fire-fighting trucks and vehicles procured by the Federal Fire Service between 2016 and 2020.

He observed further that, most fires would have been extinguished at the putative stage if the simplest fire-fighting equipment had been available.

While restating the Federal Government’s commitment to the safeguarding of lives and property, Ogbeni Aregbesola said that the present administration will not relent in its efforts towards making policies, resources and strategies for a safer Nigeria.

He said that the equipment being commissioned, DG54 Aerial Hydraulic Platform Mercedes Benz Fire Fighting Truck has 54 metres height capacity and will reach the 18th floor of high-rise buildings to tackle the challenge in Lagos, with a plethora of skyscrapers, which has been a nightmare to fire-fighters.

While urging the Controller General of FFS and his management team to put in place measures and strategies that will ensure the effective deployment and utilization of the huge fire-fighting asset for optimal impact on the general public, Aregbesola called on all relevant stakeholders and state governments in particular, to work in partnership with the Federal Fire Service to minimize the menace of uncontrolled fires and related emergencies within their respective jurisdiction.

Speaking during the event, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the State with modern fire-fighting equipment.

In his welcome address, the Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Dr. Liman Ibrahim commended the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his continuous support to all the reforms of the Service and President Muhammadu Buhari in particular for resuscitating the FFS for improved performance of fire services in the country.

While noting that the repositioning of the Agency has led to the approval for the recruitment of 2,200 firefighters, among others, the Controller General added that the commissioning ceremony is a dream come through for firefighters in Nigeria and especially Lagosians.


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