Gov Otti in a group photograph with the visiting Federal Fire Service team and some of the Governor’s senior aides.
Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has asked the Federal Fire Service to prioritise the state in the distribution of some newly acquired fire fighting vehicles.
Governor Otti, who thanked the federal agency for choosing Abia to site a new training school in the South East Zone, said though Abia may not be the biggest state in the country in terms of size, the state, however, is very busy in terms of commercial and industrial activities.
The Governor spoke Tuesday while receiving the Assistant Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service, Mrs. Ijeoma Achi-Okidi, who is on a working visit to Abia State.
“For us here in Abia, governance is comprehensive. While we are building infrastructure, while we are doing everything possible to create an enabling environment for investments and businesses, we also would not take our attention away from protection. The Federal Fire Service is all about protection of life and property. We do not want to wait until it happens and then we would be running helter-skelter. That’s why we have operated safety of lives and property as part of our governance model and that’s why we invited you.
“There may be one or two things that are on ground, but the way I would like you to approach it is that there is nothing on ground, so that you can start from the scratch. Whatever you see on ground will just be a bonus. There may be one or two trucks, whether they are serviceable or not, you will know. But if there are eight brand-new trucks that have been brought in for the states, we would like to apply for two; and the other ones that you talked about that are so sophisticated, that can manoeuvre and go into tight spaces, it would be nice that since we have applied, that we also have some of them.
“The whole idea is that the state may not be the biggest in size but in terms of commercial and industrial activities, it’s a very busy state. Things may not have been where we wanted them to be, but with all the efforts we’re making presently, the roads we’re building, the schools we’re retrofitting, the healthcare delivery system that we’re fixing, the Industrial Park that we’re constructing, there will be more activities in the months and years to come.
“So do not hesitate to give us as much assistance as possible, so we can adequately secure everything that we have invested in, in the state and most importantly, human life,” Governor Otti detailed out to the visiting federal fire fighting chief.
Speaking earlier, Mrs. Achi-Okidi, on behalf of the Controller-General of the Federal Fire Service, Engr Jaji Olola Abdulganiyu, expressed “profound gratitude” to Governor Otti and the people of Abia State for the “wonderful relationship, recognition and privileges” accorded the Federal Fire Service.
She informed the Governor of the siting of a fire service training school being built in Uzuakoli, a project attracted by an Abian, a retired permanent secretary in the ministry of interior, Dame Barrister Georgina Arisa.
Mrs. Achi-Okidi said that the Federal Fire Service was excited to see the government of Abia State, after a very long time, rising to the challenge of having the federal agency establish “a very good and robust fire station”, adding that the Federal Fire Service would give the state all the support it needed.
“Your Excellency, sir, I want to assure you that the Federal Fire Service is here to assist because to whom much is given, much is expected. This is important because based on what you’re doing in Abia Fire, you should be able to protect all these investments. I see a whole new life being injected into Abia Fire and I hope it is sustained.
“It would interest you to know, Your Excellency, that for the past two months, we have been able to procure about eight modern fire trucks that are ready to be sent to the states. Also, the Federal Fire Service procured 15 rapid intervention fire trucks. These rapid intervention fire trucks are used to manoeuvre very tight and rigorous areas, where the big fire appliance may not be able to reach. So with this rapid intervention, you can reach those areas especially markets and remote communities.
“It’s actually unprecedented that this is happening in Abia State Fire Service. We’re happy that this is happening in Abia because this is the first time that we are having a responsive government. Federal Fire Service will give you all the support that you need,” Achi-Okidi said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Homeland Security, Mr. Chukwunenye Alajemba, said that Governor Otti is working towards ensuring that the Fire Service and all emergency response services in Abia State are revived and well equipped to respond to the safety needs of Abia people.
Picture: Governor Otti welcomes the Assistant Controller-General of Federal Fire Service, Mrs. Ijeoma Achi-Okidi, who is on a tour of Abia State.