It is all about FIRE SERVICE IN NIGERIA
I wish that I can ever have the opportunity to stand in front of the lawmakers to talk about the issue of Fire Service. Nevertheless, I will say little in this mail.
Fire Service in Nigeria (State & Federal) is an operational parastatal responsible for preventing, controlling, and combating and managing fire outbreak in the country. In quest of these statutory function, Fire Service does not only prevent and mange fire disasters in the country but also first responder to all manner of distress calls such as in the event of road accidents, someone falling into a pit and other mishaps, for rescue purposes.
Fire Service in Nigeria needs a general overhauling, re-engineering and repackaging. Additionally, to actualize this phenomenon, a situation whereby all Fire Services in Nigeria (State & Federal) come together as one unified body and under one umbrella would be a step in the right direction. It will enhance uniformity as well as ensuring standard in the service.
However, for effective service delivery, serious attention should be paid to the Fire Service just like Nigeria Police Force, Military, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Prison Service, Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Custom Service, etc, unless if we have not realized that safety and security are two words which cannot be separated at any level.
Fire Service are always blamed for late response or not responding to distress calls made by victims of fire disaster but I think nobody have bothered to ask why the service has been neglected the very way the welfare of the Police and other uniform bodies are improved. It seems that we do not consider the lives and properties that would have been saved if the service is taken as serious responsibility in the country. It is the core duty of the government to correct the constraints of the Fire Service in Nigeria so that the lives and the properties of the citizenry will be protected.
Poor welfare has reduced dedication and commitment to service delivery to the lowest minimal. It is a situation which has negatively affected service delivery. Men of the Fire Service need more incentives to motivate them to greater efficiency. It is appalling that the lives of firemen are not insured and the funniest side is that welfare of the firefighters in Nigeria is over looked. It is observed that the only incentive, which is obtained by these selfless serving fighters, is the payment of their hazardous allowance of N10 (ten Naira) only. This ten naira (N10.00) hazard allowance has lingered from as far back as 1970s till date. Poor remuneration contributes to larger extent, the poor performance of firemen in most of the State Fire Services. It is only on paper that Fire Service has been made one of the paramilitary bodies but all the State Fire Services have never for ones enjoyed the paramilitary status.
I pray that Federal Government will see reasons with firefighters and also the contributions of other thousands of Nigerians to unify Fire Service in Nigeria because that is the only remedy for all the problems of Fire Service in Nigeria because anything about restructuring of FIRE SERVICE should be centered on Unification of Fire Service.