The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau, has expressed the Federal Government’s resolve to professionalise the nation’s fire service for effective and efficient service delivery.
Dambazzau said this on Thursday when he led a delegation to the scene of the gas explosion at Nnewi, Anambra, which claimed eight lives on Dec. 24.
He said that the ministry had made provision in the 2016 budget to make the service proactive.
“In addition to providing equipment to the service, we also plan to carry out training of staff to make the service highly professional.
“Every local government should have fire institution up to the various wards and we are looking at the best way to approach this,” he said.
The minister, however, commended the Anambra fire fighters for their efforts at curtailing the fire.
The minister, who earlier visited Gov. Willie Obiano and the traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Keneth Orizu, said that he was in the state to commiserate with the families of victims of the incident.
“We are here to assess the situation and to see how we can prevent future occurrence,” he said, while also praying for the quick recovery of those recuperating in various hospitals.
Dambazzau was accompanied by the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Abdullahi Gana, and the Controller General of Federal Fire Service, Mr Joseph Anebi.
Mr Chika Okafor, the Chief Executive Officer of Chicason Group and owner of the affected gas plant, commended the minister and his team for finding time to visit the scene.
He expressed pain over the loss of lives in the explosion, saying he had made efforts to reach out to the families of the victims.
Okafor, however, appealed to the Federal Government to establish fire service in Nnewi because there was none in the industrial area.
He said that the over 26 companies in the town had their fire fighting and safety measures to take care of emergencies but needed to be boosted by the Federal Government.
Okafor urged the Federal Government to look into the epileptic power supply to assist manufacturers and industrialists.