Nigeria loses N50 billion annually to fire, says minister

The fifth National Council on Fire was held in Abeokuta.

The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that Nigeria loses N50 billion worth of property to fire disasters annually.

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, made this known in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the 5th National Council on Fire held at the June 12 Cultural Centre in the town.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the minister warned that the country may suffer more
loss of its commonwealth considering the impending climate change. He said his ministry has presented the National Fire Service Code to the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, and has been approved.

“We’ve already presented the national fire safety code to the Federal Executive Council and it has been properly noted and found germane to the present transformation drive of the present administration,” he stated.

Mr. Moro noted that the next move is to get the code through to the local and state governments by presenting the fire safety code to the National Economic Council.

“What we are required to do now in order to get the by-in of the local governments and the state government is to present it to the National Economic Council that has in its fold all the Governors of the states.

“We are hoping that gradually we will get there by asking everybody to embrace the imperatives of the fire safety codes. By the time we get through with the state governments, by the time people became aware on the need to embrace a common code for fire prevention and disaster prevention, Nigeria will
be the better for it,” he said.

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He said the available statistics has showed that fire disasters have been as a result of cities expanding without corresponding provision of fire safety, building plan approvals without due consideration for safety requirements, hazardous materials being manufactured and handled without recourse to safety.

“As I am speaking to you now, we are losing an average of N50 billion worth of properties annually and so many lives are lost every year but because fire disaster are not regular occurrence, people
hardly take proper notice of what happens but when fire disasters occur, especially against the impending climate change, it would cost this nation very seriously in lost to commonwealth,” Mr. Moro disclosed.

The minister said the conference is an annual even with a primary objective of networking among major stakeholders of the fire service infrastructure in order to create a necessary synergy required
for the implementation of common national code for the fire service.

“All the imperatives that will make fire service effective to save the nation of monumental losses in our commonwealth through fire accidents have been taken into their proper perspectives and we’ve emphasized the basic requirement for an effective fire service system in the country.

“From every indication, therefore, people are being gradually sensitized to the importance of developing and sustaining an effective federal fire safety system which is another major achievement as far
as the conference is concerned,” he said.

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