Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Monday reiterated his government’s commitment to the safety of lives and property of citizens in the state.
The governor made the remarks during the inauguration of a fire trucks by the Federal Fire Service (FFS) in the state.
Obaseki said the event was part of plans to provide fire appliances at strategic locations, especially after fire incidences had devastated both lives and properties in the state.
“We have had several fire incidences in Edo state, particularly in the urban metropolis of the larger Benin area.
“However, what is worrisome about this fire is that a lot of them seemed to be arsenic related and majority of them occurred in the markets.
“You will recall the Evbareke Spare Parts market fire in Uwelu, Ekiosa market, Santana and recently, the Oba market fire,” he said.
He noted that because of these concerns, he had to approach the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service for assistance late last year.
“The CG, who was very kind enough to give us support, deployed some men here from other federal fire stations and actually gave us a fire truck on loan.
“He also did promise to deploy another one to the state when they receive a new consignment of these sophisticated fire trucks for our use to curtail these fire incidences, which were very rampant, particularly during the last dry season.
“Now we have two of these very expensive fire trucks,” he said.
He also added that the government was working in collaboration with the FFS to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the fight against fire incidences in the state.
“We are also, with the assistance of the FFS, refurbishing some of our existing trucks.
“We are training our fire manpower and also working with FFS to put hydrants and water facilities in all our markets to ensure that there is enough water for their use when there is a fire incident.
“The other thing we are doing is enlightenment of the market associations.
“We are also training the securities in the markets and building their capacity to be able to respond to fire incidences before they go out of control,” he said.
The Controller-General of FFS, Mr Liman Ibrahim, represented by ACG Thompson Mohammed, the Head of Federal Operations, expressed his delight over the cooperation FFS had enjoyed with the governor.
He affirmed that the deployment of the fire truck was part of the pledge of FFS to help curtail fire incidences in the state.
“I wish to reiterate that the deployment of this asset is to complement the efforts of the State Fire Service, while enhancing service delivery as it relates to the protection of lives and property against wanton destruction by fire,” he said.
Ibrahim noted that firefighting was everybody’s responsibility, adding that the need for a robust collaboration between the centre and the state in this regard need not be over emphasised.
“It is for this reason that I most respectfully implore you to look into the following requests:
“Allocation of two utility vehicles, of which one will enable the FFS officers complement the state fire service in the area of fire risk assessment in public and private premises.
“While the other will be converted to Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV) with complementary equipment and gadgets for quick response in the event of emergencies.
“Sponsorship of State Fire Service Personnel in local and foreign trainings in view of new and emerging trends in firefighting;
“Inclusion of the Federal Fire Service in the State Security Council and strengthening of the state fire service through recruitment of capable hands, rehabilitation, upgrading of fixed and mobile firefighting assets and enhancing the welfare package of fire personnel,” he said.
He also requested the governor to approve the placement of state fire service officials on the Paramilitary Salary Structure.
This, he said, would make the state officers be at par with their counterparts in other states and even in the federal.