From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Wednesday commissioned a fire substation built for the Treasury House which houses the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
Speaking at the event, the Minister extolled the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Idris Ahmed for building the facility which will help battle fire incidents in the building and its environs.
She was also pleased that 35 firemen have been posted to man the facility by the Comptroller-General of the Fire Service.
According to her, “the Treasury House is the key driver of the ongoing Public Financial Management Reforms in line with the desire of the Federal Government to bring the nation up to speed with other leading world economies.
“In carrying out this enormous task, the Treasury has not lost sight of the need to ensure that the work environment is not only conducive but safe. The prioritization of fire detection, prevention and control by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation is indeed a welcome development.
“Initiative such as this among other infrastructural development projects embarked on by the OAGF are in tandem with the policy of this administration. The effort of the Treasury in that direction is pleasantly noted.
“I will like to thank the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service who has graciously deployed men of the Fire Service to man this sub-station. May I request that Federal Fire Service undertake to assist the OAGF further by organizing fire drills and other training to create fire awareness among the staff.
I urge the staff and management of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to consider this Fire substation a rare privilege and as such protect this facility from vandalism and cooperate with the men of the Fire Service”, she said.
In his remarks, the AGF, Mr Idris Ahmed described the project as a product of inter-agency collaboration and synergy among government institutions.
He thanked the Controller-General Federal Fire Service, Mr Liman Ibrahim for the special attention given to the Treasury and the full deployment of about 35 men and women to man the substation at all times.
Ahmed recalled that when the project was 60% gone, a fire disaster occurred in the Treasury House in April this year.
“We all know the fire was gallantly fought and quenched under the anchorship of the men from the Federal Fire Service. Since then, our two organisations have made efforts towards actualizing our dream of having a standard fire substation at the Treasury House. “We assure the Controller-General that we would maintain the facility based on best practice and would adequately ensure welfare of the personnel deployed to the Treasury.
“For all intents and purpose, a facility like this a necessary precautionary measure that critical national
In his submission, the Comptroller-General of Fire Service, Mr Liman Ibrahim said that the substation comes as an inspiration to other stakeholders, especially in the season of rising incidence of fire outbreaks in Nigeria, so that the firefighters can cope with the prevalent threat of fire.
“Few years ago, in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Kano State, the Fire Conference which would have been held in a different part of the country was moved to Kano State to commiserate with Kano government and people over the loss of lives and property they suffered following the spate of market fires in Kano State
“Between then and now, there have been several fire and further loss of lives and property nationwide. While these are grim reminders that the threat of fire is a very clear and present danger in our lives as humans, they are nonetheless grave reminders that we must not rest on our oars. We must remain ever vigilant and resolute in our resolve to curtail the prevailing threat of fire.
“Reports of fire outbreaks in residential buildings, offices and places of assembly, especially our markets have become very regular. What is more worrisome is the absence or near absence of structured measures to check the scourge. The nation’s efforts at consolidating her socio-economic gains have been significantly compromised by this scourge. Hence, the need to address the scourge of uncontrolled fires in our environment through a layered management approach cannot be over emphasized”, he added.