Nigeria losses at least, N50 billion to fire disaster every year, the Commandant General of Federal Fire Service (FFS), Engr. Olusegun Okebiorun has said.
Engr. Okebiorun made this known while speaking at a Press Conference on Saturday to mark the International Fire Fighter's Day at the Service headquarters in Abuja.
He said statistics showed that Nigeria had lost more to fire outbreak in the first four months of 2013 when compared to the same period in previous years.
"In the past few years, we have noted that this country has lost an average of over N50billion annually. In fact, in the past four months, our statistics show that we have lost much more than we have lost in the first four months of other years."
The FFS boss expressed dismay that the number of fire service units in the country was grossly inadequate, stressing that it made it difficult for the Service to adhere to the standard practice of three-minute response time.
"The world all over, today is striving towards response to emergencies within three minutes or less but today, what we have (in Nigeria) is far beyond that."
The FFS Boss attributed this to the few numbers of fire stations in the country, stressing that it was impossible to respond to emergencies earlier than twenty minutes after a fire outbreak.
According to the Commandant General, Nigeria has 270 Fire Stations presently but needs an additional 212 to be able to cover the country adequately.
He called on government and private bodies to assist in providing supports to the FFS.
"Reduction of these emergencies, especially the man made ones falls on each and everyone of us as citizens of this country by keeping to the tenets of safety in our environment.
"In our homes and offices, we should abide by the safety codes that are necessary for our living." The International Fire Fighter's Day, marked on 4th May of every year, was in commemoration of the death of some Australian fire fighters that died on duty in 1998.