Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, has pledged five million monthly to the Federal Fire Service (FFS) for the maintenance of firefighting trucks in the state.
He made the promise during the commissioning of one modern firefighting truck, Basic Life Support Ambulance (BLS) and one water tanker in Port Harcourt.
In a statement released Friday in Abuja and signed by the Service spokesperson, SF Ugo Huan, said the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had approved the deployment of newly acquired firefighting trucks by the Federal Fire Services (FFS) to states to complement efforts of states firemen.
According to governor Wike, the monthly donation was also to buy consumables to ensure the sustenance and smooth running of the newly commissioned trucks.
“We will give N5m monthly and it is not to be shared among yourselves. It is for use to make sure the vehicles are maintained.Our money is not to service other states but to service the people of this state.
“Whatever we give for the service of the vehicles, use it here.“Once there is a fire outbreak and we hear there are no consumables, we will stop the funding and return the vehicles to where it came from,” he said.
He expressed concerns over the safety of lives and property, even as he pleaded for the trucks to be judiciously utilised for the interest of residents in the state.
Wike, who said the state government was ready to equip the state fire service with two utility vehicles added that he was concerned about the maintenance of the vehicles by those in charge of ensuring it’s proper utilisation.
“The problem we have now is that will those who ought to manage this trucks and vehicles carry it out for the benefit of the people. There might be situations of outbreaks and the equipment might not be around because it might have been hired rather than used for the interest of members of the public,” he said.
He commended the FFS boss, Dr Ibrahim Liman, for the equal distribution of the modern trucks to states in the country.
“Thank you for not playing politics but doing the right thing and not relying on belonging to the same party before carrying out what’s right.”
The FFS’s Controller General, however, assured the state government of his commitment to monitor the federal and state fire services in the state and make sure the promised monthly funds were utilised.
“The consumables which includes: chemicals, diesel and auxiliary equipments are very expensive so we appreciate the gesture of the Governor.”
Liman said the Minister of Interior has promised to deploy more fire trucks on or before the end of 2021.
He said that the deployment of the trucks was to improve firefighting and enhance service delivery in the state and country at large.
The CG on behalf of the state fire service had earlier requested for the allocation of two utility vehicles, recruitment, sponsorship of personnel on trainings and inclusion of the service in the state security council.