By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has reiterated that the protection of the nation’s economy cannot be complete except there is proper fire service management as such is imperative for national security and development.
The Minister stated this on Friday at the 11th National Council on Fire held in Jos, Plateau State, where he also noted that very sensitive information and national archives and other national assets would be preserved if fire safety is taken seriously.
Represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shuaib Belgore, he stated the federal Fire Service would be “sufficiently repositioned to deliver timely and quality service to the nation,” as the Ministry of Interior will “initiate the process of the repeal of the 1963 obsolete Fire Service Act and enactment of a new contemporary, vibrant and enforceable law via the instrument of an Executive Bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly for deliberation and eventual passage into law.”
He pointed out the case of INEC offices burnt down across the country, stressing, “Many of these offices may have not suffered the losses experienced if we had a robust fire safety management in place with the required active and passive firefighting gadgets installed.”
Also speaking at the event, the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong represented by his Deputy, Professor Sonni Tyoden added that the theme of the conference, “Fire Safety Management: An imperative for national security” was a well conceived topic, coming at the time the nation is grappling with with security challenges of various proportions.
He lamented that the subject of fire is not given adequate attention in the national discourse even when “fire disasters in the country have caused enormous losses running into billions of Naira and have also taken the lives of many Nigerians” and asked that far-reaching decisions be taken to facilitate the rapid transformation of fire fighting capacity of all tiers of government so that there will be a drastic reduction in the cases of fire disasters and losses of lives and property.