By C Don Adinuba :
Awka, Jan 13, 2020 (MOI) Both the
Federal Government and the all the states in Nigeria plus the Federal Capital
Territory (FCT), Abuja have been called upon to learn from the experience of
Anambra State Government in fighting fire outbreaks in a modern and effective
The call was made today in a statement
by Anambra State Government
This is in the wake of a series of fire
outbreaks in the country, including the one at the Old Automobile Spare Parts
Market, Obosi, Idemili Local Government Area (LGA) of the state at the weekend,
which affected 12 lock-up shops.
``This call has become necessary in
consideration of incessant fires across the country induced by the ongoing
harmattan,’’ Commissioner Adinuba explained.
``The fire could have been more
disastrous but for timey intervention of key agencies like the Nigeria Police
Force and the Anambra State Fire Service.
``Once the fire service was alerted
about 1.30am by the Awada Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr Tony Adeyi, the
firemen responded promptly and robustly.
``They were joined by not only the
police but also agencies like the Anambra State Traffic Management Agency and
Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA) Brigade to ensure that goods and
shops were not looted.
``The Anambra State Government appreciates
the cooperation of the crowd that gathered at the scene and notes that the
crowd cheered officers of the relevant agencies for their gallant action.
``It is self-evident that the new
conditions of service and operational steps taken by the Anambra State
government to effectively and efficiently fight fires in the state are working
``Following the petrol tanker accident
of Wednesday, October 3, 2019, on the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, which resulted
in the destruction of some assets in Onitsha and even loss of life, the state
government decided to re-organise the fire service.
``It increased the professional hazard
allowance of firemen from a mere N10 a month to N10, 000 per month.
``It appointed a highly respected
military officer, Air Vice-Marshall Ben Chiobi, the Managing Director of the
``In addition, it provided a number of
fire trucks and an additional 40 vehicles last month to the service,’’ it said.
The statement added: ``most
importantly, it decided, pending approval from the state House of Assembly, to
take the fire service away from the supervision of any ministry and make it
autonomous, so as to accelerate its efficiency.
``Hitherto, if the agency wanted to
make even regular purchases, it will have to seek permission from the permanent
secretary in the supervising ministry who, in turn, will seek approval of the
``The commissioner will have to contact
the governor or Secretary to the State Government for approval.’’
``All this bureaucratic redtapism
impedes the efficiency of the organisation that performs should have an
excellent response time.
``The government and people of Anambra
State are proud that the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has demonstrated
sound leadership by identifying the loopholes in the system and tackling them
``True leadership requires people to
learn from experience and correct all errors and efficiencies, so that the
system will not continue with them.
``We, therefore, urge all
governments in Nigeria to learn from the Anambra State government how to
effectively tackle fires, all the more so during this harmattan season.
``We assure all our people that Anambra
State will continue to be the Light of the Nation,’’ he concluded.
Mr C Don Adinuba is current,
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment. (MOI)