FEC okays N4.6bn for firefighting equipment, upgrade of facilities

FEC okays N4.6bn for firefighting equipment, upgrade of facilities
January 04 20:04 2017

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N4.6 billion for the purchase of firefighting equipment and the upgrade of fire stations in some parts of the country.

Minister of ‎Interior, Mr. Abdulrahman Dambazzau, who disclosed this at the end of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, said firefighting equipment were last procured in 1996.

“The equipment in the inventory today we have those procured between 1985 and 1996, and since then there was no procurement. So on assumption of duty I went round their stations and I discovered surprisingly that there was a dearth of fire fighting equipment.

“And with our experiences on fire incidences all over the country, we discovered that such a situation should no longer hold and, therefore, we reflected that in the 2016 budget. So, this approved procurement is going to go a long way to provide the service with the necessary equipment.

“This is just a start like I said the last time it was procured was in 1996. We are also hoping that the 2017 budget will avail us the opportunity to procure more equipment for the federal fire service and of course the fire training school, I have visited there I am making some efforts to also improve the on our existing facilities,” he said.

He said the Ministry of Interior would partner with other stakeholders, especially those in oil and gas sector to improve the capacity of firefighting personnel.
The minister also told journalists that government would henceforth enforce the fire code for public buildings.‎

“Part of the discussions we had today was also to have an inter-ministerial committee and I have made consultations with various ministries and states in order to ensure that we carry out preventive measures such as ensuring that the new building code, every building has the necessary fire equipment for preventives measures such as fire hydrants within the metropolis. These are some of the measures we intend to take in the very near future to ensure that we reduces the lapses and prevent fire from happening,” he said.

On whether the administration would be bold enough to close government structures who are not complying to the fire building code, the minister said: “As they say prevention is better than cure. We know that for every building, their are standards. Unfortunately these standards have not been followed including the issue of fire prevention.

“For instance every building is expected to have water sprinklers, fire extinguishers etc. We have discussed that in details. So, we are going to have a kind of stakeholders meeting that will involve relevant ministries like FCT, Works, Housing, Environment etc. We will also invite professional organisations like the institutes of builders and architects so that we can come and discuss how we can ensure safety.

“There are two things that we can gather from these, one, is security of the building and the second is revenue generation. We are going to enforce by the time we finish this and then we come out and give time for people to adjust to the situation including those building that belongs too the government.”