-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Mike SOGBOLO:
MINISTER of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has warned both local and state government levels not to depend on the federal government for fire fighting in their domains.
Speaking at the commissioning of 20 newly procured of fire fighting equipment in Abuja on Tuesday, Aregbesola said fire fighting is under the current list and both state and local governments should not shy away from this responsibility
He said local and state governments should have capacity to fight fire as the Federal Fire Service is only to complement their provision.
He said “local government chairmen must procure equipment to fight fire as well as state governors.”
He said it is until this is done that we can have effective fire fighting in the country.
Aregbesola during the commissioning of 20 newly procure basic life support (BLS) modern ambulance buses, seven firefighting trucks, said: “The state should know that we are only complementing them, they should ensure adequate provision is made for fighting fire and the same provision should be supported at the local government level.”
On the latest procurement, Aregbesola said: “These equipment are part of the N10.4 billion infrastructure upgrade approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 3, comprising of 44 firefighting engines, 15 water tankers, 15 rapid intervention fire engines (not conventional ones) that can go into any nook and cranny to respond to distressed calls and 20 basic life support ambulances.”
The Minister said it is best to prevent fire, noting that: “This begins with buildings design and equipment. A lot of buildings, including public ones and high-rise structures, are not fire preventive and do not have fire fighting facilities. Many homes and vehicles would have been saved if the small mobile fire extinguishers have been handy when fire struck.”
He lamented that: “There is also the superstitious belief that fire incidents usher prosperity. This is callous and dangerous. Some people lost their life investments in fire from which they never recover while human lives lost to fire can never be brought back.”
Also speaking at the occasion which was also used to pull out newly retired senior officers of the FFS, the Controller General, Dr. Liman Ibrahim praised President Muhammadu Buhari for the investment in the nation’s firefighting equipment and development of personnel, insisting that Nigeria has never had it this good.
He said the equipment will be deployed to bring improvement in firefighting across the nation.