The federal government has announced efforts to decentralise emergency response, particularly in the area of fire catastrophe mitigation.
Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister of Interior, revealed this on Thursday night while inspecting facilities at the Federal Fire Service, FFS headquarters.
Dr Tunji-Ojo, who was astonished by some of the cutting-edge facilities, also praised firemen for the numerous sacrifices they have made in the line of duty, adding that many have lost their lives and limbs.
Noting that firefighting is not optional, but rather required, the minister charged officers and men of the Service with preparing for modern-day problems.
“We will do everything humanly possible to decentralise the emergency response system,” he stated. I’m glad to see the mobile trucks. It will be beneficial if we had more first responders in our economic zones and markets. If there is a fire in the markets and there is no fast response, it will be terrible.
“The Federal Fire Service is a vital government agency.” No matter what you build, you must pray that there will be no fires. We can’t function without you, firefighters. You are absolutely necessary. Your assistance is not optional. It is required and serves the national interest.
“We value your sacrifices, and they will never be forgotten.” We appreciate what you’re doing. We are grateful for your service and can only continue to express our appreciation. We are grateful for the lives and property you have saved, as well as your contributions to national progress and the economy.
“We will collaborate with you because we value what you are doing and how important and integral your work is.” We will stand by you and ensure that, by the grace of God and the assistance of Mr. President, you will assume your rightful place.”
Dr Tunji-Ojo, who added that President Bola Tinubu is aware of his responsibilities, also guaranteed contractors working on various projects for the Service of early payment of their contractual first installment.
“The responsibility of government is to protect lives and property,” he stated. This government recognises its responsibilities, and we will supply you with firefighting equipment to help you do your duty.
“Our training schools will no longer be dumping grounds for capacity building.” We will train and retrain our cops in modern ways, as well as outfit them appropriately.
“Our offices require extensive rehabilitation.” You are addressed based on how you dress. We will make every effort to invest in this area.
“And don’t worry, Renewed Hope is there for our contractors.” We will do all in our power to pay you.”
Earlier, the Controller General of Fire, Engr. Abudulganiyu Jaji, stated that the Service has substantially improved from where it was only a decade ago.
The CGF highlighted limited staffing, attacks on fire fighters, personnel housing needs, a firefighting infrastructure deficit, budgetary limits, and a lack of a suitable corporate headquarters as among the issues facing the Service.
“We are confident that you will use your power and influence to help resolve some, if not all, of our issues.”
“As a Service, I will pledge our undying loyalty to your office and work together to achieve your set out promises to Nigerians, particularly in the area of fire and other related emergencies,” he said.