The Fire Fighters Magazine bureau Chief, Engr Cyprian Effa recently in Ghana during a paper presentation, titled:’ fire prevention and safety: Redefining National Security’ revealed that N20 billion was lost to fire disasters within the period under review in some affected states of the federation in Nigeria and that efforts of the nation’s fire-fighting authorities may have saved the country over N500 billion worth of goods and property.
Alarming as these numbers are the national collation data from the Federal Fire service statistics reveals that an estimated property worth 3.4b naira was lost during the third quarter of 2018 and property worth 91.6b naira was saved, they could be significantly higher if all the fire incidents in the 36 states were brought to the fore, he said.
According to its findings, the media institution also revealed that in the last two years, insurance companies have paid a sum of N14 billion insurance claims to fire victims across the country.
It’s also on record that the chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Andy Uba, had in November last year also revealed in his own separate findings that Nigeria had lost over N6 trillion naira to fire outbreaks in five years.
Nonetheless, the present administration of President Muhammed Buhari has demonstrated unprecedented commitment toward fire safety by approving for the first time in over thirty years the procurement of modern firefighting equipment for the Federal Fire Service. It is pertinent to mention that the Service has to date taken delivery of over 40 modern firefighting trucks and water tankers and awarded contract for supply of 23 more firefighting trucks. The improved budgetary allocation has also brought about innovations in the Service, especially in the application of technology for enhancement of firefighting operations and regulatory functions. The need for State governments to replicate this example given that they own and control over 90% of public fire stations across the country need not be over emphasized. The time to build a virile fire service to cope with new and emerging trends in fire disaster prevention and management is now.