The Federal Government has said its fire service (FFS) responded to 3,555 distress calls in 2020, during which 1,110 persons and properties valued at N1.351 trillion were saved from fire.
Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola said this at the inauguration of a modern aerial fire-fighting vehicle – Aerial Hydraulic Platform Mercedes Benz Fire Truck – at the Zone F Command of Federal Fire Service in Lagos.
He said the Federal Executive Council (FEC), two weeks ago, approved the procurement of 94 fire service vehicles.
These comprise 44 fire trucks, 15 water tankers, 15 Rapid Intervention Vehicles and 20 Basic Life Support Ambulances, besides 106 modern fire-fighting trucks and vehicles procured by the Federal Fire Service between 2016 and 2020.
The minister explained that the FFS was collaborating with the Republic of Belarus to buy aerial fire-fighting vehicles, rapid intervention vehicles, command and control vehicles and the training of fire-fighters.
Aregbesola urged state governments to raise their game in firefighting, saying the Federal Government was committed to safeguarding life and properties.
He said under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, the FFS had expanded beyond the two stations in Lagos and Abuja to almost all the states of the federation.
The minister explained that the DG54 Aerial Platform Fire Fighting Truck has 54 metres height capacity and will reach the 18th floor of high-rise buildings.
Lagos State Deputy Governor Femi Hamzat, who represented Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the event, stressed the need for Nigeria to have a uniform “Combustible Standard Law” guiding tankers and articulated vehicles to protect life and properties in fire and other accidents involving such vehicles.
Hamzat noted that 45 per cent of petroleum products come to Lagos with the consequence of frequent tanker fire disasters.
He emphasised the need for the state to work with the Federal Fire Service to ensure that the combustible standards are met.
“Life is the most important gift, without which nothing else matters. Therefore, fire that consumes life and properties is important to every one of us,” Hamzat said.