President Bola Tinubu has enlisted a rapid firefighting mini truck into his convoy, the first in the history of the Nigerian Presidency.
Controller General of the Federal Fire Service FFS, Engr. Abdulganiyu Jaji disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja when the new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade paid a maiden visit to the Service’s headquarters. He said the Service has also procured 15 rapid firefighting mini trucks to navigate crowded terrains which were hitherto inaccessible to the larger firefighting appliances. While he recalled that the ministry recently commissioned Nigeria’s first Metropolitan Fire Station located in Kubwa, Abuja, Engr. Jaji said 12 other Metropolitan Fire Stations are at various stages of completion.On the achievements of the service, the CGF said; “We recently completed and commissioned the first Fire House props in West Africa located inside the National Fire Academy Sheda.“Procurement of 15 Ford Built Rapid Intervention Vehicles, already delivered to the Service awaiting commissioning and deployment.“Approval of Mr President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR to include the Service Rapid Intervention Vehicle in his motorcade. This is the first in the history of Nigeria.“Other firsts include celebration of the International Firefighter’s day“Approval of a large expanse of land for the building of the Service National Headquarters in Sauka, Abuja, FCT”, he added.Jaji said the service is however confronted with the challenges of inadequate manpower, attack on fire fighters, housing needs for personnel, firefighting infrastructural gap and budgetary constraint, among others.On her part, Dr Akinlade called on State Governments to take advantage of the fact that firefighting is in the Concurrent List to help build and equip more fire stations.She also stressed the need for better training and motivation of firefighters, saying the hazards associated with the job, entails that the men on ground are fully motivated to discharge their mandate.She said; “Your mandate is very important to Nigeria as a whole. I don’t know of anything more frightening by fire. It is destructive and quick to do so but yet when you are called, you move in immediately. Therefore, I say well done.It is therefore important that citizens of Nigeria know and are assured that fire will not ravage them. But peradventure there is a fire outbreak, that the FFS will be able to put out the fire before lives and property are lost.“Building codes are not usually obeyed and when there is fire, big trucks cannot go through. So these mini trucks can go through such areas but 15 are not enough. That cannot even serve the FCT alone. We need more. Therefore, funding, housing, training and everything that can build up the morale of firemen have to be taken into account.“We call on the state governments to please support the FFS and play their roles as well because fire fighting is on the Concurrent List. I have seen highly trained officers and men but the challenge is that the facilities are overstretched. This is why the states must come in too”.