by Olayinka Olukoya – Abeokuta
The Minister of Interior, Mr Patrick Abba Moro, on Thursday, disclosed that the country loses an average of N50 billion worth of property annually to fire disasters.
He said this during the fifth National Council on Fire Conference held at the Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, warning that the country might suffer more considering the impending climate change.
The minister stated that the ministry had presented the National Fire Safety code to the Federal Executive Council which he said was important to President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda.
He noted that the next move was to get the code available to local and state governments by presenting the fire safety code to the National Economic Council.
The minister noted that available statistics showed that fire disasters were as a result of expansion of cities, building plans approval without due consideration for safety requirements, hazardous materials being manufactured and handled without recourse to safety.
“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.
“What we are required to do now in order to get the by-in of the local and state governments 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.
“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 50 billion naira worth of properties annually and so many lives are lost every year but because fire disasters are not regular occurrences, people hardly take proper notice of what happens but when fire disasters occur, especially against the impending climate change, it would cost this nation a lot in terms of commonwealth,” he said.