Controller General (CG) of the Federal Fire Service (FFS), Dr Ibrahim Liman, says fire related deaths in the country have dropped by 100 per cent in one year.
Dr Liman, who said this at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, attributed the decrease to the repositioning of the FFS.
He said from January till date, the service had recorded a total of 70 deaths to fire outbreaks compared to a total of 147 recorded in 2020.
He also said there had been an increase in the estimated property saved from N1.4 trillion in 2020 to N19.4 trillion in 2021.
The CG said the achievement could be ascribed to the procurement of new fire fighting assets, training of firefighters and motivation of staff by the federal government.
“In 2015, the service had only three rickety fire fighting trucks, but now, the service has procured 141 modern fire trucks.
“With an increased staff strength from 600 to over 6,000 and expansion from its initial presence in just Lagos State and Abuja, to all the states of the federation.
“The Service now has 15 life saving ambulances procured this year with well trained medical personnel for effective paramedic service during emergency response.
“To reduce our response time, we have a control room that houses the Nigerian Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System (NISPSAS) where emergency video calls are received, showing real time video location of the caller.
“The service also procured a hydraulic platform fire fighting truck which has the capacity of fighting fire in a 18-storey building, as well as used to effect rescue,” he said.
According to him, the FFS sent some of its fire men on training locally and internationally for better understanding and utilisation of the newly procured equipment and innovations.
Liman noted that citizens had roles to play in safeguarding lives and property.
“These roles include; compliance to fire safety code, taking seriously safety educations, not involving in negligent action that could result to fire.
“Knowing the emergency numbers and calling them in good time when there is fire or any emergency, as well as refraining from obstructing emergency vehicles on the road to emergency scenes,” he said.
He advised citizens to desist from attacking firefighters at fire scenes to enable firefighters respond appropriately.
“If we all do these, Nigeria will have a tremendous reduction in the loss of lives and property from fire related emergencies,” he added.
While wishing the Christian faithful happy Christmas and new year celebration, Dr Liman urged Nigerians to be safety conscious and to avoid actions that could lead to fire outbreak.
He stated that the harmattan had a negative high influence to the spread of fire if they occurred, hence the precautionary warning.
He said, “Nigerians now have a fire service that they can be proud of as other African countries now come to Nigeria to emulate what is happening in the service.
“Nigerians need to know that they now have a better fire service than they used to have as anyone can visit various stations in the state to see the new fire service in terms of equipment, personnel and technology.
“We might not have gotten to where we are supposed to be yet, but certainly we are not where we used to be six years ago, and all thanks to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The CG called on citizens to be timely in contacting the FFS through their emergency numbers: 08032003556 or 112, in case of any fire incident.
Police Service Commission Promotes Magu, Seven Others As AIGs
The Police Service Commission has approved the promotion of some senior police officers including the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
The commission confirmed John Amadi as a substantive Deputy Inspector-General of Police and replaced late DIG Joseph Egbunike, who will be representing the South-East in the Force Management.
The commission also approved the appointment of DIG Zama Senchi, who was the most senior in the Assistant Inspector General cadre.
Rising from its 15th plenary in Abuja last Friday, the commission in a statement on Monday by its spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, disclosed that it equally promoted eight Commissioners of Police to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police.
The plenary which began last Wednesday, May 11, was presided over by the Chairman of the commission and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith.
The new AIGs include Magu, who was the most senior in the commissioner of police cadre.
Other new AIGs are Abraham Ayim, Okunlola Kamaldeen, Andrew Amieengheme, Akeera Younous, Celestine Elumelu, Ngozi Onadeko and Danladi Lalas (Airwing).
The commission also approved the promotion of 23 deputy commissioners to the next rank of CPs; 31 assistant commissioners to DCPs and 63 Chief Superintendents of Police to ACPs.
The new CPs include Taiwo Jesubiyi, former DC, Admin and Finance, Akwa Ibom State Command; Kolawole Olajide former DC, Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; Julius Okoro, former DC, Maritime, Lagos and Adelesi Oluwarotimi, former DC DFA, Kwara State Command.
The statement said, “Other decisions taken by the commission at the plenary were the promotion of 57 Superintendents of Police earlier skipped when their mates were promoted to the next rank of Chief Superintendents.
“Other categories of Superintendents of Police such as the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Course 4, Inspectors Courses 37 and regular ASP’s course 25 and 26 were also promoted to Chief Superintendents, having met established requirements.
Gunmen Kill Two Soldiers, Burn Court, 32 Vehicles In Anambra
Two soldiers have been killed and a lawmaker kidnapped by suspected gunmen in Anambra State.
The gunmen who went on the rampage in the state between Sunday and Monday also set ablaze a local government secretariat, an office of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, a magistrate’s court building as well as over 32 vehicles.
The Tide learnt that a group of hoodlums, wielding weapons, including guns, opened fire on a military checkpoint at the 3-3 Estate in Nkwelle Ezunaka, near Onitsha, where they shot two soldiers dead.
The soldiers were said to have retaliated, as a gun battle ensued thereafter.
According to sources, the shooting started around 10pm on Sunday and lasted till early Monday, with bullets flying in the air and dropping on rooftops.
It was learnt that the gunmen also visited the Government Reserved Area in Onitsha, where they shot intermittently.
The attacks came less than three days after the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, visited the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in the custody of the Department of State Services.
In another attack, suspected gunmen also shot dead a vigilante at the Eke Oko community in the Aguata Local Government Area on Sunday.
The victim, who was on a motorcycle, was putting on a mobile police T-shirt when the gunmen overtook and shot him dead.
Sources said the hoodlums burnt all files and property in the council secretariat while over 32 vehicles parked inside the secretariat were also reportedly razed.
The police spokesman, Ikenga, attributed the incident to unidentified arsonists.
The Tide also learnt that the gunmen proceeded to the Ogidi district office of the EEDC, not far from the secretariat and set it ablaze.
About 32 utility and operational vehicles were reportedly burnt during the incident, including other assets and equipment on the premises.
The hoodlums also reportedly inflicted machete cuts on the security guard manning the office, cut his head, leg and arm, as they demanded his gun, while his other colleagues ran for their lives.
Confirming the incident, the Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, expressed displeasure that efforts made to reach the Anambra State Fire Service did not yield any positive result.
Ezeh said members of staff who were on ground were helpless, as they watched the office building and other assets go up in flames.
He said, “It later took the intervention of the Commissioner for Utilities, Mr Julius Chukwuemeka, around 9.05am to bring the fire service team down to the scene of the incident.
“This is a big loss to EEDC, and a great setback to the efforts being made by the company to strengthen its network and improve the quality of service to its customers within Ogidi and Anambra State at large”.
EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Over N80bn Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, over alleged diversion of funds and money laundering to the tune of N80 bilion.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this on Monday in a statement titled, ‘EFCC arrests Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation, for N80billion Fraud’.
The anti-graft agency said Idris was arrested after failing to honour an invitation.
According to the commission, the Accountant-General allegedly laundered the funds through bogus consultancies.
The statement read in part, “Operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022 arrested the serving Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.
“The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities, using proxies, family members and close associates.
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja. Mr Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts”.
The Tide learnt that Idris is still at the EFCC custody as at the time of filing this report.
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