Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
Worried by the incessant fire outbreaks and the resultant negative effects on the economy, the Federal Government has directed the Federal Fire Service to carry out measures that would prevent the trend across the country through rendering effective services to Nigerians.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who gave the directive at the commissioning of 2,200 regular Fire Service Cadet Officers, 150 drivers and 96 new fire-fighting trucks, instructed the service to ensure effective service delivery to Nigerians, through the deployment and utilization of the huge fire-fighting assets for optimal impact wherever they may be needed and further prevent the incessant fire outbreaks and its resultant negative effects on the economy.
He noted that the rate at which fire outbreaks occur in recent times, leading to loss of lives, jobs and valuables, is worrisome, adding that there is urgent need to put an end to ‘this ugly incident.’
Aregbesola disclosed that the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s resolve to ensuring the safety of Nigerians and its effort at entrenching transparency in the conduct of government business to revitalize the economy for the purpose of improving socio-economic development in the country, was one of the main reasons why the Federal Fire Service in the last four years, witnessed an unprecedented transformation with the procurement of 92 modern fire-fighting trucks, establishment of six new zonal commands in addition to the existing six commands as well as in the establishment of six training schools across the country.
He stated further that the Federal Government also carried out the upgrading and renovation of fire-fighting infrastructure and facilities across its formations in the country. “It also introduced modern fire-fighter trucks, procured more 15 water tankers with fire-fighting capability and established two mobile workshops, in keeping with its commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property of Nigerians with the view to improving Foreign Direct Investment,” the minister said.
He directed the service to ensure effective strengthening of the fire preventive functions and operational capabilities through constant capacity building.
Ogbeni Aregbesola who said that “firefighting is not an easy task,” congratulated the cadets and urged them to brace up for the enormous challenges ahead.
In a statement by the Director (Press & Public Relations), Mohammed Manga,
the minister stressed further that fire outbreaks due to rising infrastructure stock, new materials and technologies in the building environment, as well as activities of arsonists and terrorists are some of the threats the service contends with in recent times.
He emphasised that officers and men of the service must exhibit a high degree of discipline, dedication and professionalism in the face of these challenges.
Earlier in his remarks, the Controller- General, Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Ibrahim, said that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the recruitment of the graduating personnel because of the need to reposition the service.
He assured that the service would continue to do everything humanly possible to justify the huge investment of the Federal Government towards strengthening it, in its mandate of quick response to emergencies.
Liman stated further that with the commissioning of 2,200 regular Fire Service Cadet Officers, 150 drivers and 96 new fire-fighting trucks by the Federal Government, it provides the service with the opportunity of ensuring effective service delivery to the people and improve the response time.