Nigeria Loses N5trn to Fire Outbreaks

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By Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

Commandant-General of the Federal Fire Service, Mr. Joseph Anebi, has revealed that over five trillion naira worth of properties have been lost to fire outbreaks in the country.

Making this disclosure on Saturday while marking the 2018 Fire Fighters’ Day, Anebi said this was a major threat to security.

He said N3.3 trillion worth of properties were lost to fire outbreaks in Kano alone while over 3,800 people were displaced.

The fire incidents, Anebi said, affected the sources of employment and income of the displaced persons, thereby creating an ugly atmosphere that could  create a breach of security which government has continued to tackle.

The CG, who was represented by the Assistant Commandant in charge of Policy, Regulation and Inspection, Mr. Ouintus Asogu, said for the past 30 years, the service existed without appropriate fire fighting equipment at the federal level. He however added that it had acquired not less than 40 fire fighting trucks.

While lamenting that state offices were not doing enough as only few had adopted the fire safety code which came into effect in 2013, he disclosed that the Service was working towards amending the Fire Service Act which limits the federal civil service from compelling state offices to do the needful.

He said: “In the past five years, we have had over five trillion naira losses due to fire outbreak. It’s huge and it’s quite significant. When there’s fire, apart from loss of properties, there are also losses in business income. There is loss of lives and there is loss in the suppression of fire because resources are required to suppress the fire.

“There are cases of fire that are not reported to the Federal Fire Service and we know that fire is a major threat to the socio-economic activities of the country.

“We are looking at a situation whereby we have to rejig the Fire Service Act‎. By this, we are setting a standard and we are going to compel the states because it bothers on safety and to an extent on the security of Nigerians.

“The states also have a role to play. Most states are not doing what they are supposed to do in terms of acquiring trucks, and employing personnel. Imagine a state having a population of over four million having just five personnel. How can they provide fire fighting services?