Fire service constructs 13 new fire stations

Umahi legacy


By Kelechi Ogunleye

The Federal Fire Service (FFS) says the service is currently constructing 13 new fire stations across the country to improve response time to fire incidences.

FFS Controller General (CG) Abdulganiyu Jaji said this on Thursday during a media parley at FFS Headquarters in Abuja.

Jaji said that from the 13 ongoing Zonal commands, six had reached substantial levels while the remaining seven are still at an early construction stage.

A breakdown by FFS Projects Head, Mr Tolu Aderibigbe, detailed that the six developed fire stations are in Abuja, Kano, Bauchi, Enugu, Makurdi, and Abeokuta.

According to him, “the development level of the Abuja fire station located in Kubwa area is 75 per cent completed.

“Makurdi; 90 per cent, Bauchi; 87, Kano; 80 per cent, Enugu; 65 per cent and Abeokuta; 40 per cent.

“The upcoming constructions are in Minna, Sokoto, Yola, Owerri, Oshogbo, Asaba and Uyo.”

Jaji said that the service had also purchased over 20 state of the art firefighting trucks that would be deployed to state commands including the newly constructed stations on completion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jaji, alongside top management officers visited the ongoing Kubwa fire station being constructed in Abuja.

On recruitment, he debunked rumors of recruitment or replacement of citizens into the service.

He said that without waivers and funds, such exercises cannot take place.

“No official recruitment or replacement is ongoing in the service because we need to establish waivers.

“We also need to get funds that will be used to train recruits as we have not gotten any of this so until this is established before recruitment or replacement can take place,” he said.

Jaji said that the reviewed fire safety code, Standard of Operating Procedure and Acts guiding the service was yet to be approved by the Federal Government.

He however, said that the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was keen on approving those laws in order to strengthen the service but is yet to endorse it for implementation.

“People build buildings with no recon to the fire safety code and this is because of the absence of the code.

“By the establishment of the laws in the code it will make a developer know that from the design stage of a building you need to seek the approval of the fire service till completion stage.

“This will ensure that the fire safety features that ought to be in the building are present and will make investigation easier in case of a fire incident,” he said.

The FFS boss said that massive public enlightenment campaign on fire prevention, control and mitigation had begun.

He said that the enlightenment campaign had been ongoing across the country with the aim to prevent fire rather than fight fire.

“I am a strong believer that prevention of fire is cheaper, safer and easier than firefighting,” he said.

He warned that the service would no longer condone attacks on firemen during rescue operations.

“Anyone who obstructs our men in the cause of their duty will face the full wrath of the law.

He called for a robust partnership with the public sector especially in the area of establishing fire stations.

“Within my first 100 days in service, we partnered DIFF Medical hospital and Nigeria Export Processing to establish fire stations while some other private stations are undergoing construction.

Jaji further charged private sectors to partner FFS in establishing fire stations across the country.

He stressed that the need for more fire stations cannot be overemphasized to reduce response time during fire emergencies.

He said that the service intends to actualise its collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force to establish an Aerial Fire Response Unit.

The CG disclosed that the service had received approval to procure three more hydraulic platforms in addition to the one in Lagos.

He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration for actively supporting the service.(NAN)