There are indications that the Federal Fire Service and the National Insurance Commission are set to fully enforce key compulsory insurance covers currently being generally flouted across the country. This is coming as the Federal Fire Service (FFS) and National Insurance Commission, (NAICOM) have commenced an initiative to make fire liability insurance compulsory for all public buildings in the country, The determination at enforcement has become imperative due to lack of compliance with fire safety rules and fire outbreaks, both bodies have lamented.
A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the FFS, Ugo Huan, revealed that both agencies have resolved amongst other things to commence the enforcement of compulsory public building liability insurance across the country.
The agencies came up with the initiative after the visit on Monday of Controller-General of the (FFS), Dr. Ibrahim Liman, to NAICOM in Abuja. Liman, during the courtesy visit to the insurance agency, expressed the need for public buildings to subscribe to the liability insurance policy for public buildings.
The CG, who used the opportunity to highlight the achievements of the Service under President Muhammadu Buhari, said: “Under the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Fire Service has moved from a Service having just two dilapidated fire trucks to presently having 106 modern fire trucks; 22 water tankers, 8 rapid intervention and a 54 meters hydraulic platform with the capacity of fighting fire and carrying out rescue at the 18th floor of a storey building; from presence in just Abuja and Lagos to having presence in the 36 states of the federation with personnel and fire fighting equipment, from a Service of just 600 personnel to 6,512 personnel.
“Also the Service has embarked on a rigorous public enlightenment and education on fire safety and has established a technical group to assess the Oil Tank Farm Safety Management in Nigeria with a view of mitigating disasters attributable to oil tank farm explosions mostly in the South-West and South-South.”
He said the Service had so far responded to 3,555 fire calls, rescued 353 persons and saved property worth 1.351 trillion across the country in 2020 alone.
The Controller General also informed the CEO of NAICOM, Mr Olorundare Sunday Thomas, on the statutory fund that is supposed to be remitted to the Fire Service which has not been forthcoming.
He said: “The fund that is supposed to be remitted to us from NAICOM has not been coming. My appeal to you is that NAICOM can assist the Fire Service especially the State Fire Services who are poorly funded in the areas of fire trucks rehabilitation, fire stations rehabilitation, training and retraining of staff and even providing uniforms where the need be.”
The NAICOM boss, in his response, acknowledged the fact that the law enables NAICOM to fund the activities of the Fire Service. He said: “We have a regulatory responsibility, the law also enables us to fund the activities of the Fire Service but because there has not been enough enforcement, the funds are not coming, but the potential is quite huge. This visit has given the opportunity for a better partnership.” He promised that NAICOM will work with the consultant introduced to them by the Controller General in ensuring that the needful is done.