Federal Fire Service commissions 10 fighting trucks worth N1.9bn

Federal Fire Service (FFS) on Tuesday in Abuja, commissioned 10 firefighting trucks worth N1.9 billion to combat fire outbreaks in country.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Nov. 7, 2018  Federal Executive Council approved N11 billion for purchase of 22 firefighting vehicles for the Federal Fire Service.

Inaugurating trucks, Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola said immediate deployment of trucks to would help fight incessant fire outbreaks in the country.

He urged the service zonal offices and training schools to optimise and effectively use the assets acquired to improve fire coverage and enhance emergency response operations to complement state fire services.

He warned state governors with the notion to privatise government firefighting trucks to desist from the act and return the already possessed ones to the state  fire service.

“The trucks are not for private purposes, buy yours and we will train your fire men for free without charge but will not give you our fire trucks.

“Do not confiscate fire trucks and desist from such acts,” he said.

Aregbesola advised the service to intensify efforts on inspecting  buildings  certification and if need be, seal off  buildings that failed to comply  until they were ready to be compliant.

“This is essential because we have noted that many grand buildings, especially public buildings, are not fire and other disaster compliant.

“ Many of do not have fire hydrants, assembly points nor emergency exit routes.

Earlier in his remarks, Mr Liman Ibrahim, Controller General, FFS, said that the newly commissioned trucks would be deployed to seven states of the federation; Nassarawa, Kaduna, Kwara, Oyo, Edo , Bayelsa and Anambra.

He said a special intervention fund approved by the federal government to address issues of outstanding debts to contractors for the procurement of firefighting trucks  made the acquisition  of the  trucks possible.

“Although, the fund, not fully , has enabled the service pay contractors for the delivery of the available trucks.

“Three more trucks will arrive the country this week and will be deployed to three states; Abia, Kebbi and Ondo.

“ If the present tempo of funding is sustained to enable us meet our obligations to the contractors before the year ends, we shall have fire stations in all state capitals and the FCT,” he said.

Ibrahim noted that only 19 states including the FCT had complement of firefighting trucks and personnel.

“It is therefore expected that by the commissioning of these fire trucks and their subsequent deployment to seven states, the fire services’ presence in states with fire trucks will increase to 26 states, this leaves out 10 states,” he said.

Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, Secretary, Ministry of Interior, advised the CG to prioritise capacity building to enable the service alongside its personnel  respond timely to disaster management.

She said that it was gratifying to see that the service had repositioned itself as a player in ensuring safety of  citizens in the country.

“The ministry will continue the activities of the service to provide safety for the entirety of the nation,” she said.

NAN reports that the FFS  on July , 2019, inaugurated 12 fire fighting trucks and water tankers to combat fire outbreaks in the country. (NAN)