…as 2 DCGs, 1 ACG retire
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has commissioned 20 new Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance buses, 7 state of the art firefighting trucks and also witnessed the pulling out of 2 retired Deputy Controller Generals, DCGs, and 1 Assistant Controller General, ACG, of the Federal Fire Service, FFS.
The Minister who was the special guest of Honour at the occasion on Monday, 1 June, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for transforming the Federal Fire Service as the result of his commitment in safeguarding lives and properties of Nigerians.
“I must thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support for the Ministry of Interior and her agencies. It pleases me to state that the delivery of these new Basic Life Support ambulance buses and fire trucks is indeed a further testimony of his resolve to reposition the Federal Fire Service for better service delivery in line with it’s core mandate, which include humanitarian and emergency services”, the Minister said.
Aregbesola said that since the inception of the present administration, the FFS has experienced a phenomenal transformation from a moribund department to a vibrant organisation equipped with modern and state of the art firefighting equipment, “and today we are here to add 20 brand new Basic Life Support Ambulance buses and seven firefighting trucks to our fleet to be manned by well trained, dedicated and committed personnel”.
According to the Minister, the newly procured Ambulances and fire trucks were part of the N10.4 billion infrastructure upgrade approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 3, which of 44 firefighting engines, 15 water tankers, 15 rapid intervention fire engines (non conventional ones) that can go into any nook and cranny to respond to distressed calls.
Aregbesola said the arrival of these new ambulance buses and trucks, and their deployment to the various zonal and state Commands, would surely enhance service delivery of the Federal Fire Service during emergencies.
He therefore urged the Zonal and State Commands where these vehicles would be deployed to reciprocate the gesture of the Federal Government by optimizing and effectively using these assets to improve fire cover, enhance emergency response operations, and complement State Fire Services operations while enhancing fire safety across the country.
The Minister called on all Nigerians to take fire safety and prevention very seriously, reiterating that fire is a good servant but an evil and dangerous master. It was best therefore to prevent fire. This, he said, begins with buildings design and equipment.
A lot of buildings, Aregbesola said, including public ones and high-rise structures, are not fire preventive and do not have fire fighting facilities, adding that many homes vehicles and lives would have been saved if they had fire extinguishers handy.
The Minister said the Federal Government is not just committed to the procurement of firefighting assets alone but also to the training of personnel, hence his continued approval of overseas training for officers of the Federal Fire Service.
Aregbesola congratulated the senior officers of the Federal Fire Service who were pulled out of the Service upon attaining the statutory age of retirement from service and wished them well in their future endeavours.
He further commended the Controller General, Dr. Liman Alhaji Ibrahim for his purposeful and visionary leadership, which “has completely changed the trajectory of the Service”.
Aregbesola did not leave out the Officers and Men of the FFS, whom he commended for overcoming all the odds to ensure the safety of lives and property which requires high levels of discipline, determination and patience.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Controller General told guests at the occasion that the commissioning taking place had further proven the commitment of the President Buhari-led administration in transforming the FFS for better service delivery to the citizenry.
The CG said the Service had never had it this good since its inception, “nonetheless, the phenomenal increase in fire fighting andemergency asset base under the watch of Mr President is unprecedented in the history of Federal Fire Service. It is a further confirmation and demonstration of the present administration’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of lives and property.”
While acknowledging the Minister as the brain behind the giant strides of the present FFS, the CG assured the Minister of his commitment in ensuring the presence of the Service in all the senatorial districts of the nation before the end of 2021.
“Let me also use this medium to inform the general public that currently, our operational scope has spanned across all states of the Federation and FCT. I am further reiterating the commitment and assuring the Honourable Minister, that before the end of this year, we will commence deployment of our personnel and assets to the 72 remaining Senatorial Districts.”
The CG also thanked the retired senior officers for their unalloyed loyalty and commitment while in the Service, and wished them well in their future endeavours.