Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Danbazzau, Wednesday pledged the effort of the Federal Government to turn about the Nigeria Fire Service.
Danbazau who also commended the determination of the National Assembly to assist in the turnaround of the Service, noted that until the coming of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration the Fire Service was in comatose.
The Minister gave spoke in Abuja at a two day international fire conference and exhibition organized by the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Interior
He described the state of affairs of the Fire Service as deplorable before the coming of the present Administration.
He noted that the quick intervention of the National Assembly in appropriating the needed funds for operations and purchase firefighting equipment contributed in ensuring that fire safety and prevention standards are met to international requirement.
Danbazau who noted that it is important that certain infrastructure in the country should be protected, noted that Nigeria has in the last 30 years witnessed fire disasters involving critical facilities amounting for colossal loss of lives and valuable property.
He described the effect of fire outbreaks as retrogressive to infrastructural development capable of causing mass unemployment and insecurity.
The Minister stressed the need for further intervention by the National Assembly in coming out with legislations that will strengthen the Nigeria Fire Service which “if given the right trainings, resources and equipment can prevent outrageous situations.”
He said, “The minister hoping that with the trend of support received so far by the present administration the Nigeria Fire Service would be one of the best in five years to come, but observed that it has a long way to go before meeting international standard.”
Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Andy Uba attributed major causes of fire outbreaks to human error.
Senator Uba said that there is a general consensus that there is the need to mitigate the trend, by stopping the fire outbreak before they start.
He also stressed the need to reposition the Fire Service delivery to make it more modern and more efficient, to investigate the root causes of fire especially in commercial centers, within the oil and gas sector that recorded the highest number of incidents.
Uba promised that the National Assembly will create a framework for legislative intervention either through the instrumentality of the national budget, oversight, amendment to existing pieces of legislation or formulation of new laws.