FG Commits to Modernising Fire and Rescue Services with New Fire Act

Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo at the ground breaking ceremony
Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo at the ground breaking ceremony

The Federal Government has announced its commitment to enacting a new Fire and Rescue Service Act to reflect modern trends in fire and rescue operations.

This was revealed by the Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, during the groundbreaking ceremony of the remodelled National Fire Academy in Sheda, Abuja, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

“By the grace of God, we will work hard to see the repeal and enactment of a Fire and Rescue Service Act. The present law of 1963 is obsolete. The scope of fire services globally in 2024 is vastly different from what it was in 1963, and we cannot remain tethered to the past when we have the opportunity to create a future we can all be proud of.

“Your responsibility is not just to combat, prevent, or avoid fire incidents; it goes beyond that. You must be the first responders in any emergency. To achieve this, the government is committed to equipping you with the necessary knowledge, not just for the Nigerian market, but to also make us exporters of rescue knowledge to the rest of Africa,” Tunji-Ojo stated.

He assured that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to building strong institutions, with the Federal Fire Service being no exception. “In the next year, by the grace of God, we will be here to commission this project. It’s not enough to have fantastic ideas; having a timeline for delivery is crucial.

“We will not sacrifice what we need to achieve today in the hope of a day that might not come. The time to roll up our sleeves to rewrite our history, to set the record straight, and give Nigeria the fire and rescue service it deserves is now,” the Minister said.

He stressed that the government takes rescue operations very seriously, as it is a constitutional duty to protect lives and property. He added that the investment in setting up a world-class National Fire Academy, was not just for bragging rights but are aimed at ensuring efficiency and productivity.

The Controller General of the Federal Fire Service, Engr. Jaji O. Abdulganiyu, in his welcome address, highlighted the capabilities of the remodeled National Fire Academy to address key challenges.

It aims to tackle issues such as accommodation inadequacies, firefighting infrastructure gaps, and the lack of capacity to conduct specialised training in hazardous materials response, aerial/marine firefighting, and flood rescue operations.

The academy will cover a landmass of 100,000 square metres and include hostels, a clinic, classrooms, a gym, a props area, and a car park, etc.

The ceremony was attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Aishetu Gogo Ndayako, along with all the Service Chiefs, retired Controller Generals, representatives from the Nigeria Army, Assistant Controller Generals, among other dignitaries.

Ozoya Imohimi
Director (Press & Public Relations)