FG mulls establishment of fire police

Rauf Aregbesola

By Yahaya Isah
The Federal Government says it will create an arm bearing unit to be known as  ‘Fire Police’ to provide an armed outer cordon during operations.
This followed federal government resolve to addressing the challenge often faced by firefighters during operations, through mob action and vandalism of firefighting assets in the country.
The Director of Press, Ministry of Interior, Mrs Blessing Lere-Adams, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
According to her, the Minister of Interior, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola and Chairman of Council, disclosed this during the opening ceremony of the National Council on Fire in Jos.
The minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore.
Aregbesola said the ministry would initiate the process of repealing the 1963 obsolete Fire Service Act and enact a new contemporary, vibrant and enforceable law, through the instrument of an Executive Bill.
This, he said, would be forwarded to the National Assembly (NASS) for deliberation and eventual passage into law.
He noted that fire safety management, an imperative for national security, could and should become a tool for not only national security, but as well as 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 channeled to other areas of our national development.
“Our national archives and very sensitive information will be preserved,” he added.
He assured that the ministry under his watch would continue to find innovative ways and means to empower the service to provide timely and quality service to the generality of the citizens and foreigners alike.
Aregbesola, however, noted that the Federal Fire Service (FFS), had so far enjoyed and would continue to enjoy the tremendous support of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I am confident that as this government progresses in office, the FFS will be sufficiently repositioned to deliver timely and quality service to the nation,” he said.
Host Gov. Simon Lalong, who declared the council opened, thanked the ministry for chosing the state for this year’s conference.
Lalong noted that the theme, “Fire Safety Management: An Imparative 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 Tyoden, condemned unnecessary attacks on fire fighters during safety and rescue operations.
He, therefore, called for proper sensitisation of Nigerians on the need to embrace preventive measures to averting fire disasters in the country.