By Fortune Eromosele, Abuja
Worried by the lack of compliance to fire safety rules and fire outbreaks, the Federal Fire Service, FFS, and the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, have resolved to make compulsory, fire liability insurance for all public buildings.
Controller-General of the (FFS), Dr. Ibrahim Liman, during a courtesy visit to the NAICOM Head Office in Abuja, expressed the need for public buildings to subscribe to the liability insurance policy for public buildings.
He said ” Under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Fire Service has moved from a Service having just two dilapidated fire trucks to presently having 106 modern fire trucks; 22 water tankers, 8 rapid intervention and a 54 meters hydraulic platform with the capacity of fighting fire and carrying out rescue at the 18th floor of a storey building; from presence in just Abuja and Lagos to having presence in the 36 states of the federation with personnel and fire fighting equipment, from a Service of just 600 personnel to 6,512 personnel.
“Also the Service has embarked on a rigorous public enlightenment and education on fire safety and has established a technical group to assess the Oil Tank Farm Safety Management in Nigeria with a view of mitigating disasters attributable to oil tank farm explosions mostly in the South-West and South-South.
“The Service has so far responded to 3, 555 fire calls, rescued 353 persons, and saved property worth 1.351 trillion across the country in 2020 alone.”
Liman informed the CEO of NAICOM on the statutory fund that ought to be remitted to the Fire Service which has not been forthcoming. According to him, ” The fund that is supposed to be remitted to us from NAICOM has not been coming. My appeal to you is that NAICOM can assist the Fire Service especially the State Fire Services who are poorly funded in the areas of fire trucks rehabilitation, fire stations rehabilitation, training and retraining of staff and even providing uniforms where the need be.”
The NAICOM boss, Mr. Olorundare Thomas in his response acknowledged the fact that the law enables NAICOM to fund the activities of the Fire Service. He said, “We have a regulatory responsibility, the law also enables us to fund the activities of the Fire Service but because there has not been enough enforcement, the funds are not coming, but the potential is quite huge, this visit has given an opportunity for a better partnership.”
He promised that NAICOM will work with the interface consultant introduced to them by the Controller General in ensuring that the needful is done.
However, the two agencies resolved amongst other things to commence the enforcement of compulsory public building liability insurance across the country.