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FG Seeks Synergy against Fire Disasters in the country

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FG Seeks Synergy against Fire Disasters in the country

In a bid to checkmate the incessant fire disasters in the country, the Federal Government has reiterated its call for collaborative efforts by all tiers of government, corporate bodies as well as individuals.
Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola made the call thursday at the Commissioning Ceremony of a Modern Aerial Fire-fighting vehicle at the Federal Fire Service, Zone F Command, Lagos, in Lagos State.

This was contained in a statement signed and issued by the ministry’s director press and Public relations Mohammed Manga

According to the minister, “State Governments have to raise their game on fire fighting. With the best of efforts, the Federal Government can only supplement States efforts, not replace them. Even Local Governments should have fire management capability.”
In a speech titled, “Towards National Fire Safety”, Aregbesola said, “without doubt, uncontrolled fires represent a serious security, economic and developmental threat all over the world. The prevalence of fire incidents in Nigeria is undoubtedly a source of concern to all levels of government and individuals alike, thus, the need for collaborative effort to check the menace cannot be overemphasized”
The Minster who observed that fire is always an emergency and that there is need to be prepare for it always, expressed readiness of his Ministry to collaborate with the Nigerian Air Force in using aircraft to drop water and firefighting chemical solutions on high rise buildings and other places requiring aerial fire management.
He added that it is also making efforts to purchase barges that can be used to throw water from aircraft into bush fires and wild spreading fires.
Aregbesola observed further that, most fires would have been extinguished at the putative stage if the simplest fire-fighting equipment had been available.
According to him, “Some fire incidents are natural like volcanoes, lightening and combustible gases in dumpsites. Some are due to negligence. Others are deliberate. Arson, for instance, is deliberate. “We should be vigilant at all times and put all safety measures in place. It is very important also that our buildings are fire safety compliant”.
“Fire is always an emergency and we should prepare for it as such. A small liquid fire extinguisher would save vehicles from burning while motorists without them stand the risk of getting their vehicles burnt down from a little spark”
While restating Federal Government’s commitment to safeguarding of lives and property, Ogbeni Aregbesola said that the present Administration will not relent in its efforts towards making policies, resources and strategies for a safer Nigeria.
The Minister commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration for consistently ensuring that the Federal Fire Service is adequately equipped to carry out its mandate of protecting lives and property against the menace of uncontrolled fires as well as natural disasters. Aregbesola who said that hitherto, FFS was only present in Lagos and Abuja as Federal Capital Territories respectively, with obsolete equipment and epileptic services, stated further that, under the present administration, the Agency has spread to nearly all the States of the Federation, noting that in the year 2020 alone, it responded to 3,555 distress calls during which N1.351 trillion worth of property and 1,110 human lives were saved from fire.
He informed that the Federal Executive Council at its meeting two weeks ago, approved the procurement of 94 fire service vehicles which include 44 fire trucks, 15 water tankers, 15 Rapid Intervention Vehicles and 20 Basic Life Support Ambulances; in addition to 106 modern fire-fighting trucks and vehicles procured by the Federal Fire Service between 2016 and 2020.
Through his initiative, the Minister said, the Service is engaging the Federal Republic of Belarus for collaboration that will usher a better deal, especially in the procurement of Aerial Fire-fighting Vehicles, Rapid Intervention Vehicles, Command and Control Vehicles and training of fire-fighters.
Also, he said, that the equipment being commissioned, DG54 Aerial Hydraulic Platform Mercedes Benz Fire Fighting Truck has 54 metres height capacity and will reach the 18th floor of high-rise buildings to tackle the challenge in Lagos, with a plethora of skyscrapers, which has been a nightmare to fire-fighters.
While urging the Controller General of FFS and his management team to put in place measures and strategies that will ensure the effective deployment and utilization of the huge fire-fighting asset for optimal impact on the general public, Aregbesola called on all relevant stakeholders and state governments in particular, to work in partnership with the Federal Fire Service to minimize the menace of uncontrolled fires and related emergencies within their respective jurisdiction.
He stated further that the federal government will continue to improve on the nation’s infrastructure as well as bring in innovations, in the bid to protect lives and property and also put fire under control.
Speaking during the event, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the State with modern fire-fighting equipment.
“We must commend the federal government for the seamless collaboration between the Lagos State Fire Service and the Federal Fire Service. Between January and March 2021, we combated 294 fires in conjunction with the Federal Fire Service
“On our part, we have also purchased four aerial fire-fighting vehicles, employed 700 fire fighters with 500 more to be employed and also established 18 fire stations across the State. “This is important as 45 percent of petroleum products come to Lagos, with the consequences of trucks catching fire, destroying lives and property”.
This he said, calls for the need for the state to work with the Federal Fire Service to ensure that the combustible standards are met before the truck loads.
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”
In his welcome address, the Controller General, Federal Fire Service, Dr. Liman Ibrahim commended the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his continuous support to all the reforms of the Service and President Muhammadu Buhari in particular for resuscitating the FFS for improved performance of fire services in the country.
While noting that the repositioning of the Agency has led to the approval for the recruitment of 2,200 firefighters, among others, the Controller General added that the commissioning ceremony is a dream come true for firefighters in Nigeria and especially Lagosians.
He stressed further that the multi-million naira vehicle will significantly address the fire challenges faced in the area and also minimize the risk firefighters are exposed to in the line of duty.
      

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Ebubeagu: Igbo Journalists hail Southeast govs, demand immediate legislative backing

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Ebubeagu: Igbo Journalists hail Southeast govs, demand immediate legislative backing

Prominent media practitioners under the aegis of United Igbo Journalists Forum (UIJF), have applauded the recent move by Southeast governors to establish combined security outfit in the region.

In a statement issued on Tuesday and made available to newsmen in Abuja, the Journalist group led by its chairman Comrade Emeka Nze also described the idea and resolution of the five governors as “forward moving”.

The Igbo Journalists however, spoke of the need for the five Houses of Assembly in the zone to immediately follow up the decision with legislative backing in their various states.

The statement further enjoined the governors and other well-meaning stakeholders in Southeast not to relent in implementing drastic measures that will bring an end to the rising insecurity in the entire region.

“This is not the time to fold hands and watch while a faceless group emerge from nowhere to kill innocent citizens.

“It’s our firm believe that if the essence of the new security outfit known as Ebubeagu is well carried out, soon all forms of criminal activities ranging from kidnapping, killings and armed robbery will become issue of the past.

“We will also want to enjoin Southeast leaders at any level not to in anyway contemplate, talk more of politicise issues bothering on security as no one knows who will be affected at one point or the other.

“We call on well-to-do Igbo sons and daughters to join hands with the governors in a bid to secure our territory. More efforts should be injected in the area of job creation and empowerment as means of engaging our youths in whatever positive venture,” the statement said.

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NCPC explores Holy Sites in Jordan for 2021 pilgrimage

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NCPC explores Holy Sites in Jordan for 2021 pilgrimage

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission, (NCPC) Rev Yakubu Pam said that the Commission is ready to explore New Holy Sites around the world.

He disclosed this recently during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities in Jordan.

Rev. Pam explained that the Commission has come to Jordan on a state of readiness and exploration visit.
In his words “We came to explore holy sites and we will need your maximum corporation to make it a reality”.

The secretary hinted that the President of Nigeria, President Mohammed Buhari has given the Commission approval to explore the holy sites in Jordan.

Rev. Pam described the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission is a body that is saddled with the responsibility of taking intending pilgrims to Holy Lands around the world.
According to him, “The Commission coordinates the activities of intending pilgrims from Nigeria to any holy site around the world, Israel, Greece and Rome including Jordan.”

He added that the Commission is mandated to ensure the safety of every Nigeria pilgrim as it is of paramount importance.

He therefore solicited for the support of the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities to facilitate the procurement of visas for Intending pilgrims because it is of utmost importance to the commencement of the 2021 pilgrimage.

He thanked the Minister of Tourism for his warm reception.
In his words “I want to appreciate you since we came here we have been receiving lots of cooperation from your people, we have not had any difficulties”.
In his response the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Hmeidi Al-Fayez who was represented by the Maanaging Director, Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat thanked the Executive Secretary and members of his team for coming to explore holy sites in Jordan.

He assured the Executive Secretary that the people of Jordan are peaceful and hospitable. According to him “In terms of security, I want to assure you that Jordan is very safe for visitors.”

He promised to ensure that the issue of visa is looked into as the outcome will be both favourable to Nigeria and Jordan.

Arabiyat assured that they would give the Commission the necessary cooporation as both countries have a good relationship with each other.

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Synergos Nigeria urges Kogi to implement Agric. Investment Plan, woo Investors

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Synergos Nigeria urges Kogi to implement Agric. Investment Plan, woo Investors


By Friday Idachaba
Country Director of Synergos Nigeria, Mr Victor Adejoh, has called on Kogi government to implement its Agricultural Investment Plan to woo Investors and boost agriculture development in the state.

Synergos Nigeria is an international Non-Governmental Organisation

Adejoh who made the call in interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lokoja said Synergos worked in the state between 2016 and 2019 alongside critical stakeholders to develop the plan.

He said that under the the aegis of the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) collaboration produced the document which now resides in the state Agriculture Ministry to woo private investments in the Agriculture sector to the state.

The Country Director said it would be great to see the current administration in the state display the political will to work on the foundations laid in the past to revamp the state agriculture sector.

“When Synergos got into the state, one thing we did was to identify the strategic leaders from the non-state actors and the state actors and we brought them under a platform called the Agricultural Vision Group (AVG).

That platform helped build collaboration in the state in a way that the efforts and investments of government in that sector saw people working together to address a common issue which was how to increase farmers income and improve their livelihood.

He said that the organisation also supported government to set up a Core Delivery Team (CDT) which was able to organise all those critical to policy development and implementation.

Adejoh therefore, advised the state to revitalise the Core Delivery Team (CDT) and strengthen the Agricultural Vision Group (AVG) which was made up of government and non-government actors including the Civil Society, financial institutions, private sector investors and input providers.

The Country Director said that by reactivating and revitalising the initiatives, government stood to benefit a lot from the revenue that would accrue from their engagements and bridging of gaps.

“At a point in time in the history of Nigeria and in the history of the world, Kogi State ranked the highest producer of cassava and sometime between 2015 and 2019, Kogi State also accounted for the highest production of cashew nuts in the country.

“If you understand Kogi State very well, stakeholders both state and non-state actors had been working in different directions until 2016.

“So, when Synergos got into the state, one thing we did was to identify the strategic leaders from the non-state actors and the state actors and we brought them under the AVG platform.

He urged Kogi government to return the state back to its place of recognition especially with crops of comparative advantage especially, Cassava and Cashew. (NAN)

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