Evelyn-A. B. Ibanga (Govt. House)

The Federal Government has approved the establishment of metropolitan-type fire stations in the six geopolitical zones of the country, with the South-South Zonal Station to be located in Akwa Ibom State.

This was disclosed when the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service, FFS, Engineer Joseph Garba Anebi, visited the State Governor, at Government House, Uyo.

Elated by the development, Governor Udom Emmanuel directed allocation of a parcel of land in an accessible area, for the proposed project, expressing appreciation to the Federal Government for choosing to site the zonal station in the state.

The Governor  said that the piece of land would be alloted within the township for accessibility, indicating that distance and traffic sometimes hindered timely interventions during fire outbreaks and opted to eradicate the ‘bottleneck’ by siting the station at a convenient location.

In addition to the parcel of land, the Governor also approved provision of utility vehicles to aid operations at the station, noting that the presence of the FFS would complement services of tthe Emergency Response Unit which his administration is working on setting-up, in the state.

“We really appreciate you for choosing to set up the South-South zonal office of the FFS, in Akwa Ibom, you’ve asked for land and we are going to give you land almost immediately and we’ll look at certain things that would make that land accessible and make sure that it is within the township and also provide some vehicles to support operational activities in the state.

“We are also about setting up an Emergency Centre in line with the State Ministry of Health, the Police and other service comnands. I believe that with the federal fire service, we can actually have a good run because the fire service in several other countries can actually come to a rescue when needed”, Governor  Emmanuel stated.

He said that his government was eager to bring the proposed project to reality as it would enhance employment opportunities for  Akwa Ibom people, saying, “you cannot set up an office here and bring people from somewhere else to work, we have enough brains that we can give you to run the place. Our people have shown proven capacity to pass examinations from other federal parastatals”.

The State Chief Executive used the occasion to commiserate with the Benue State Government and people, on the sad incidences that had occurred there, hoping that those in positions of  authority to discharge responsibilities would do so creditably, to forestall future occurrences.

Earlier, the Controller-General of of the FFS, Engr. Anebi, said that the Federal Executive Council gave the directive for the establishment of the zonal fire stations to curb the threat of uncontrolled fires in public and private building infrastructure across the country.

Anebi stated that the Service is also interacting with state governments and providing assistance through training and technical advice to improve the capacity of their fire services, announcing that “the FFS  would soon commence the strengthening of its presence in Akwa Ibom with the deployment of multi-million naira fire-fighting assets and personnel”.

He recommended employment of more personnel and rehabilitation/procurement of fire fighting trucks for the State Fire Service to enhance its emergency preparedness status, applauding Governor Emmanuel’s enduring commitment to development and added, “It is therefore, not surprising that the Leadership Newspaper in 2017, singled you out as the Best Performing Governor in Nigeria”.

The FFS boss was accompanied on the visit, by the  Assistant Controller General of the FFS, Quisqus Azagu, the Director-General of the State Fire Service, Mr. Ubong Bassey,  the South South Commander of the FS, Chika Njoku, the South-East Zonal Commander of the FS,  Anthony Akpan, the Public Relations Officer of the FFS, Pat-Sandra Ugo and the State Commander of the Fire Service, Mr. Abbas W.

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