The Federal Fire Service (FFS) has begun the probe into the fire incidents at the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the headquarters of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The controller-general of FFS, Dr Liman Ibrahim, disclosed this through the agency’s spokesperson, DSF Ugo Huan, yesterday to LEADERSHIP in Abuja.
Ibrahim, who noted that both fire incidents would have been worse if firefighters had not responded in good time, said that most buildings and structures in Abuja were not fire safety-compliant.
Commenting on market fire incidents across the country, the FFS boss identified sleeping in stores, illegal electricity connection and lack of motorable space for firefighting trucks to drive in as major causes for the upsurge of fire outbreaks in the markets.
Ibrahim, who recently marked one year in office, said that the FFS was now better positioned to handle fire disasters, adding that with more funding, there would be more areas of improvement.
He recalled that the service was in a pitiable state before the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came into power in 2015.
According to him, “under the Buhari administration also, the population of firefighters in the country has risen from 1,200 to 5,860; we are almost 6,000 firefighters now. So, we have enough personnel to handle fire disasters when they come.
‘’Also, In Abuja, we had only two old fire trucks bought in the 1980s. In Lagos, we had only one, also bought in the 1980s. We were just managing them because they were not roadworthy. When we took them out for fire service or emergency, we had to pray to reach the scene of the incident. If they reached the scene, we would pray that they finished the operations successfully.
‘’But all of that has changed now. President Buhari has displayed uncommon political will in repositioning the Federal Fire Service,’’ Ibarhim said.
He said the President took the bull by the horn by appropriating enough funds for the FFS.
‘’In 2016, with the budget, the present administration approved for us, we were able to buy 23 firefighting vehicles and 15 water tankers of 10,000 litres capacity,’’ he added.