Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has stressed the need for Nigeria to have a uniform “Combustible Standard Law” guiding tankers and articulated vehicles.
Sanwo-Olu made the remarks at the commissioning of the Aerial Hydraulic Firefighting Truck at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that the law was necessary to protect lives and property of the citizens, as well as loss to fire and accidents involving such vehicles.
Sanwo-Olu noted that 45 per cent of petroleum products comes to Lagos with the consequence of trucks catching fire, destroying lives and property.
He said there was a need for the state to work with the Federal Fire Service to ensure that the combustible standards are met before the trucks are loaded.
According to him “life is the most important gift, without which nothing else matters, therefore fire that consumes lives and property is important to everyone of us”.
The governor added that his administration takes fire service seriously, noting that the state first bought the aerial hydraulic platform Fire Truck as far back as 2012 and currently has four of them.
The governor disclosed that the state has about 700 firefighters employed and 500 were to be recruited very soon.
He added that there are 18 fire stations across the State.
He said: “I appreciate the State Fire Service for their consistent support.
“Whenever there is need for their service and they are called upon, they work with us well.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, stated that the Federal Government is committed to safeguarding lives and property.
Aregbsola assured that government would not relent in its efforts towards making policies, resources and strategies for a safer Nigeria.
The minister noted that under the Buhari administration, Federal Fire Service had spread to nearly all the states of the federation.
“Federal Government will keep improving on our infrastructure and bring innovations, in the bid to protect lives and property that will help in putting fire under control.”
The minister explained that the DG54 Aerial Platform Fire Fighting Truck has 54 metres height capacity and will reach 18th floor of high-rise buildings.
“This has been a challenge in Lagos, especially with a plethora of skyscrapers and a nightmare to fire-fighters and this will be a thing of the past now.
“The Federal Fire Service has since expanded beyond Lagos and Abuja, and now has a presence in almost all the states of the Federation,” he said
According to the Minister, fundamental changes are taking place all over the fire service.
He disclosed that property worth N1.351trillion were saved from fire in the last year, adding that 94 fire service vehicles had been approved for procurement by the Federal Executive Council.
Also, the Controller General of Federal Fire Service, Dr Liman Ibrahim, stated that fighting fires in highrise building comes with a lot of challenges, especially in Lagos where the service had in the past contended with multi-story buildings without appropriate equipment.
lbrahim explained that the procurement of the DG54 Aerial Platform Fire Fighting Truck has 54 metres height capacity is expected to significantly address these challenges and minimize the risk firefighters are exposed to in the line of duty.