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Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau said at the weekend that he inherited a Federal Fire Service without equipment.
Dambazau, who was in Lagos on tour of agencies and parastatals under his ministry, said the state of facilities at the Federal Fire Service was worrisome. He wondered how the service was expected to function without equipment.
Inspecting offices at Ebute Meta and Ojuelegba, Dambazau observed that there was no functional tanker and the only water bank had not been working for a very long time. He disclosed that trainees were taught without equipment and assured that priority would be given to the procurement of the necessary equipment to enable firemen do their job, just as he disclosed the readiness of the ministry to partner with state governments willing to assist the agency.
According to him, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has already indicated interest to equip the federal fire service in the state.
“Your presence here is useless if you do not have the equipment to work with. We have noted your challenges and we also note the risks associated with your job as firemen. We will ensure you are well taken care of and the necessary equipment provided to minimise risk. The good news in Lagos is that the state governor has indicated interest to partner with the ministry to equip this place so that you can function well,” he said.
Earlier, the agency’s Commanding Officer in Lagos, Olushola Aderemi, said an average of 10 fire calls were received across the agency’s 15 stations in the state and suggested the creation of two federal fire stations at Badagry and Ikorodu for quicker response.
He added that the fire-fighting engines of the agency were between 25 and 30 years old. Aderemi disclosed that there was no ambulance for rescue operation, no functional workshop, no functional clinic, no utility vehicle, and no communication equipment in the agency’s control room.