The Federal Government has said it will establish an arms-bearing unit to be referred to as “Fire Police,” tasked with providing armed outer cordon during operations.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Chairman of Council in Jos, Plateau state during the opening of the National Council on Fire.
In a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Press, Lere-Adams Blessing Sunday in Abuja, she noted that the decision is “part of efforts to address the challenges often faced by firefighters during operations, through mob action and vandalism of firefighting assets in the country”.
Aregbesola, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, said: “the Ministry would initiate the process of repealing the 1963 obsolete Fire Service Act and enactment of a new contemporary, vibrant, and enforceable law, through the instrument of an Executive Bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly for deliberation and eventual passage into law”.
He noted that fire safety management, an imperative for national security can and should become a tool for not only national security but also national development.
“When critical national assets are adequately protected against consequences of huge losses due to fire incidents, these assets are saved; the economy is further protected because the very lean resources that would have otherwise been used to rehabilitate or reconstruct such affected infrastructure would be channelled to other areas of our national development. Our national archives and very sensitive information would be preserved,” he added.
The Minister, however, gave the assurance that under his watch, the Ministry would continue to find innovative ways and means to empower the Service to ensure quality service of a world-class standard to the generality of the citizens and foreigners alike.
he noted that President Muhamadu Buhari has been supporting the Federal Fire Service, and it will continue to enjoy his tremendous support.
“I am confident that as this government progresses in office, the Federal Fire Service would be sufficiently repositioned to deliver timely and quality service to the nation,” he reiterated.
In his remarks, the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong appreciated the Ministry of Interior for hosting this year’s conference in the state. He noted that the theme, “Fire Safety Management: An Imperative for National Security” was well-conceived at a time the nation was grappling with numerous security challenges.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Gwanle Tyoden, condemned unnecessary attacks on firefighters during safety and rescue operations and called for proper sensitization of Nigerians on the need to embrace preventive measures to avert fire disasters in the country.