By Stanley Onyekwere
A total of N2.5 billion worth property have been saved from fire outbreaks in Abuja, the nation’s capital city, from January to date, according to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Fire Service.
This is just as properties worth millions were destroyed by 325 fire incidents in the FCT, during the period under review.
Making this disclosure yesterday, Director, FCT Fire Services, Julius Opetunsin, noted that the FCT Administration has expended a lot of money to buy equipment for fighting fire incidences.
Opetunsin, who spoke at the inauguration of a Fire Station in Zuba Town, Gwagwalada Area of the Territory, stressed the need for stakeholders to protect fire fighting equipment, so as to ensure the protection of lives and property.
He said the establishment of Zuba fire station was to bring about quick response to fire incidence any time it occurs within the area which has heavy traffic is prone to fire outbreak from petrol tankers.
He implored the residents to protect the equipment which comprised 2500 liters Water Tender, 10,000 liters Water Tanker and Ambulance.
“It is the time that will determine the kind of response. If the distance is far, before our men will reach the scene the situation would be out of control. Fire does not wait for anyone, before we come from the main office to put it off, the fire will consume everything.
“We are not spirit but with the establishment of this Zuba office, it will curb the disaster. The residents have to cooperate with us any time there is fire outbreak. There was a time we came into Zuba from our Asokoro office to put off fire, but reaching here our van was vandalized.
“When you go to salvage people, property and people now vandalize those vehicles, they are not encouraging the FCT Minister’s effort. I want to implore them that once there is fire they should just call us and within two to three minutes we are there. They should protect our equipment so that we will protect lives and property”, Opetunsin stressed.
In his remarks, the Director of Legal Services, Abuja Municipal Management Council (AMMC), Isah Abdullahi, who spoke on behalf of the FCT Administration reiterated that the Administration will not fail in its responsibility of providing all the necessary interventions in fire fighting.
According to him: “The job of a Fire Service Officer is a very important one to the community. In Zuba the station comissoned today is a welcome development.
“The Honourable Minister intervention in this regard cannot be overemphasized. If you look at the equipment provided for Zuba Station is much more beyond what is provided in other stations.
“The sister organisations like the Police, the NSCDC, the Road Safety Corps also have their own support here. We want to thank you and whatever needs to be done should be done well. The protection of these equipment should also be done. If you protect them well other areas will also get the same services”.