Mr Joseph Esinwoke, North-West Commanding Officer of the Federal Fire Service has called for the upgrade of facilities at the National Fire Academy, Sheda in Abuja, to meet manpower needs in fire-fighting.
Esinwoke made the appeal in an interview with journalists in Enugu on Sunday.
He said that the provision of necessary facilities at the academy would help protect national assets.
The official said apart from the upgrade of the academy, government should also send its personnel from ministries, departments and agencies to the academy for training.
Esinwoke noted that the country loses about 35 per cent of its annual budget to fire.
“The nation losses about 35 percent of its yearly budgetary allocation to fire.
“Just to mention figures, the losses in the various fire incidents in Kano State alone in 2016 is estimated to be in the region of three trillion naira.
“So, we are usually having a monumental loss through fire disasters each year due to lack of safety consciousness and precautionary actions,’’ he said.
The commander stressed that “fire-fighting business is everybody’s business.
“There is high need for every Nigerian to be safety conscious and know rudiments of fire-fighting as well as the need to install fire-fighting equipment in their homes, business places and even vehicles.”
The commander expressed concern over low commitment to the provision of fire-fighting facilities in states across the country.
According to him, only Kano and Anambra states have met the minimal standard expected in forestalling fire outbreaks by getting their firefighting equipment ready.
“I must commend Kano and Anambra State Governments that have shown commitment and purchased modern fighting equipment and trucks to respond to fire emergency, especially that of highly inflammable materials.
“They have gone ahead to get their fire-fighting personnel to attend courses to upgrade their knowledge,’’ he said.