FG approves N10bn for FFS infrastructure
The Federal Government has approved 10.4 billion naira for infrastructure upgrade for the Federal Fire Service (FFS) to enable the service face the challenges of fire fighting in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the unprecedented support accorded the Fire Service.
Speaking during the inauguration of seven Fire Fighting Trucks and 20 Ambulances at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja, Aregbesola said the Service would forever be grateful to the present administration.
He 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 ambulances in particular are an innovation to firefighting and the first time in the history of this country.”
Aregbesola expressed hope that the intervention would address the challenges associated with firefighting and save lives.
He said as part of capacity building for officers of the service, he approved the training of 21 fire-fighting officers in the University of Civil Defence and Emergency Studies, Minsk, Belarus, stating that the officers are expected to be master trainers for others on their return to Nigeria.
Aregbesola said: “Today we are here to add 20 brand new Basic Life Support Ambulance buses and seven firefighting trucks to our fleet to be manned by well trained, dedicated and committed personnel.
“It is noted that 2020 into 2021 has witnessed frightening fire incidents, ranging from markets to gas and pipelines fires around the country.
“Statistics at our disposal show that the FFS in 2020 to the first quarter of 2021 received 4,541 fire calls from which regrettably, 158 lives were lost and property lost is estimated at N41.5 billion.
“The good news is that the Service within the year under review also saved about 1,275 lives, rescue about 387 persons in distress due to fire and other related emergencies while saving property worth over N3.7trillion.
“The arrival of these new ambulance buses and trucks and their deployment to the various Zonal and state Commands would surely enhance service delivery of the Federal Fire Service during emergencies.”