By Mercy Osajiugo
Minna – The Niger State Fire Service has appealed to the State Government to send its men on foreign training on modern firefighting technology.
The Director of the service, Muhammad Babakudu, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Thursday.
According to Babakudu, such training will better position the service to face the numerous challenges bedeviling firefighting.
He said that this would be of a great benefit to the state as it was planning to make Niger state the business hub for local and international investors.
”It will better groom firemen and expose them to improved firefighting techniques as the state warms up to attract local and foreign investors.
“Now that the state is making serious plans with investors, one of the factors every serious investor will look out for is proactive firefighting equipment and skilled personnel with the technical knowhow.
“No investor can be successfully wooed if there are loopholes that will put such investment at a risk.
“My men usually go for local training at the Kano State Fire Service Training School and the National Fire Academy at Sheda.
“Even here, fire management staff organises training for the firemen but foreign training cannot be over emphasised to enable us grapple with fire emergencies as the state awaits investors,” he said.
Babakudu explained that with foreign training first made available to at least 10 of his personnel, they would, eventually, train others on their return to the state.
“Of course, the trained will train the rest and that will invariably mean foreign training for all,” he said.
The director appreciated the state government for purchasing 19 fire engines, five water trucks and two fire ambulances.
He equally commended it for the recruitment of 151 firefighters currently on training.
“Worthy of commendation is the approval of the Consolidated Para-Military Salary Structure (CONPASS) for firefighters by Gov. Abubakar Bello.
“This has made us more proactive and has encouraged us in giving our best to the state,” he said. (NAN)