The Federal Government is committed to safeguarding the lives and property of its citizens, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has said.
Aregbesola made the remarks at the inauguration of a modern aerial fire fighting vehicle at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State.
He said the Federal Government would not relent in its effort to making policies, resources and strategies for a safer Nigeria.
“As you are aware, the Federal Executive Council at its meeting two weeks ago, approved the procurement of 94 fire service vehicles.
“These include 44 fire trucks, 15 water tankers, 15 Rapid Intervention Vehicles and 20 Basic Life Support Ambulances.
“This is in addition to 106 modern firefighting trucks and vehicles procured by the Federal Fire Service between 2016 and 2020,” he said.
He revealed that the service, through his initiative, was also engaging the Federal Republic of Belarus for collaboration.
He explained that the collaboration was expected to usher in a better deal, especially in the procurement of Aerial Firefighting Vehicles, Rapid Intervention Vehicles, Command and Control Vehicles and the training of firefighters.
“A few days ago, I approved foreign training on high-rise fire-fighting for 17 officers of the service. This is to ensure optimal use of the vehicle slated for commissioning today.
“The ministry of interior will continue to ensure that the firefighting resources are adequately upgraded at every given opportunity.
“We will keep improving on our infrastructure and bringing innovations, in the bid to protect lives and property and put fires under control,” he said.
Dr Liman Ibrahim, Controller General of FFS noted that the specialised firefighting equipment was the first of its kind in the last 40 years in the country.
Ibrahim noted that fighting fires in high rise buildings came with a lot of challenges, especially in Lagos where the service had in the past, contended with multi-story buildings without the appropriate equipment.
“The procurement of this multi-million naira vehicle primarily for use in Lagos state is expected to significantly address these challenges and minimise the risks firefighters are exposed to in the line of duty.
“This equipment is designed to fight fires in high rise buildings up to 18 floors.
“For the firefighters in Nigeria and especially Lagos, this is a dream come through and for residents, where this equipment will be deployed primarily for aerial firefighting.
“You have every reason to be grateful to President Buhari. His transformation agenda, without doubt, has brought the Federal Fire Service back to life,” he said
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat said the Lagos state government had always taken the issue of fire very seriously, adding that the procurement of the modern aerial fire fighting vehicle was a welcome development for the state.
“We have close to 700 firefighters in employment and it will interest you to know that we are recruiting another 500.
“We have an enormous amount of fire trucks and 18 fire stations across the state while two new stations are being built in Apapa and Amuwo Odofin.
“The equipment being commissioned today, DG54 Aerial Platform Fire Fighting Truck has 54 metres height capacity and will reach the 18th floor of high-rise buildings.
“This has been a challenge in Lagos especially with a plethora of skyscrapers, and a nightmare to firefighters. This will be a thing of the past now,” he said.