The Minister of Interior, Patrick Abba-Moro, has said that the country loses about N50 billion Naira worth of property every year to fire incidents.
Abba-Moro, however, warned that the country risked losing more of its commonwealth to fire incidents due to the effect of climate change.
The minister disclosed this in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Thursday, during the 5th National Council on Fire while speaking with journalists.
He said that his ministry had already presented the National Fire Service Code to the Federal Executive Council which had been found relevant to President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
Abba-Moro noted that the next step was how to get the code to the local and state governments by presenting the Fire Safety Code to the National Economic Council.
He expressed hope that when that was done everybody would embrace the imperatives of the code.
The minister said that the available statistics had shown that fire incidents had been occurring due to the expansion of cities without corresponding provision of fire safety, building plans approval without due consideration for safety requirements, hazardous materials being manufactured and handled without recourse to safety.
He stated, “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.
“Let me equally say that by the time we get through with the state governments, by the time people become aware of the need to embrace a common code for fire prevention and disaster prevention, Nigeria will be the better for it.
“As I am speaking to you now, we are losing an average of N50bn worth of property annually and so many lives are lost every year but because fire disasters 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 loss to commonwealth,” he said.
The minister noted that the conference was an annual event whose primary objective was the networking among major stakeholders of the fire service infrastructure in order to create the necessary synergy required for the implementation of a common national code for the fire service.
Abba Moro said, “All the imperatives that will make fire service effective to save the nation of monumental losses in our commonwealth through fire accident has been taken into their proper perspectives and we’ve emphasises the basic requirement for an effective fire service system in the country.
“From every indication, people are being gradually sensitised on the importance of developing and sustaining an effective Federal Fire Safety system which is another major achievement as far as the conference is concern.”