Ministry initiates bill to repeal obsolete Fire Service Act
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbeshola, said this, yesterday, during the closing ceremony of the Federal Fire Service National Council held in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
Aregbeshola said the said proposed bill would go through the instrument of an Executive Bill to be forwarded to the National Assembly for deliberation and eventual passage into law.
He said the case of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices burnt across the country would not have suffered such losses if the service had a robust fire safety management in place.
He said the challenge faced by firefighters during operations, through mob action and vandalisation of firefighting assets, would be addressed by the creation of an arm-bearing unit to be referred to as “Fire Police”.
He said the Fire Police would provide security for firefighters during operations.
Aregbesola said the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) needed to collaborate with the Fire Service to ensure the release of 0.025 percent of the collectable fire insurance premium by insurance firms for the purpose of fighting equipment maintenance, as provided for in the Insurance Act of 2003.
The theme of the conference was “Fire Safety Management: An Imperative for National Security.”
House of Representatives Committee Chairman of the National Assembly, Victor Dan Zaria, said the House was ready to repeal any bill hindering Fire Service’s progress.
The Controller General of the Federal Fire Service (FFS), Dr. Ibrahim Liman, said fire safety management entailed arrangement, implementation, controlling, monitoring and reviewing fire safety standards as well as ensuring that the standards are maintained and applied appropriately.
Liman disclosed the scorecard of the service for the first quarter of 2021.
For him, there were 986 fire calls, 34 rescue emergencies, 175 lives saved, 11 lives lost, 3.7 trillion estimated saved property saved, 9.42 billion estimated property lost, explaining that the major reason behind the spike in the first quarter of 2021 figures was industrial fires.
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