• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Nigeria’s aviation sector deploys N12bn worth fire tenders to beef up safety

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The aviation sector has deployed 10 fighting trucks worth over N12 billion.

Hadi Sirika, the aviation minister, who commissioned the trucks at the weekend said they would be deployed by officers of the Fire and Safety department of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Commissioning the equipment in Lagos, Sirika said the president Muhammadu Buhari led administration prioritises safety, hence the efforts made at procuring them even after 15 years of abandonment.

The trucks are to be deployed to Lagos, Abuja and Kano airports,

“We are talking about improvement of safety by the Buhari administration by supplying rover N12 billion safety equipment, fire trucks to tend to safety. And we say that it was lack of these equipment that contributed to the death of 60 children of Loyola Jesuit school at Port-Harcourt and it’s part of the many reasons we close an airport.

“It is a very significant safety equipment. These fire trucks have not been supplied in the last 15 years and even administration in and out were cannibalising the equipment on ground. The firemen were not also trained, they were abandoned as if they were not important, Buhari came and made them important and bought them automatic fire simulators for N5.2 billion in 2016 “, he said.

Read also: How Nigeria’s aviation sector can foster economic growth

Also speaking, Hamisu Yadudu, managing director, FAAN, said the commissioning of the 10 super-structure, ultra-modern major firefighting vehicles is an attestation of quality and positive transformational changes for safe, secure and efficient aviation sector of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“This epoch-making transformation spear-headed by the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika cuts across three core areas: namely– Rehabilitation and upgrade of infra-structure, Capacity building to enhance competency and skills to meet and supersede minimum standard; training, manpower development and application of standard procedures in our operations.

“In acquiring the vehicle, we strictly adhered to all regulatory automotive standards for major firefighting vehicles,” he said.

According to him, each vehicle not only carries 14,000 litres of water; 1,700 litres of foam and 250kg powder capacity, it also monitors the discharge rate of between 6,000Litres to 10,000 Litres per minute.

He added that acceleration rate is from 0 to 80km/hr in 30 seconds.

The trucks, Yadudu said, can discharge while in motion (with professional pump and roll operation) and is equipped with under chassis nozzles to tackle running fuel fire.

These vehicles would be deployed to MMA Lagos, NAIA Abuja and MAKIA Kano while we are also processing for additional vehicles for Port-Harcourt and Enugu.

Comprehensive training for the end users of these vehicles and mechanical units would be given. This is to ensure the vehicles are not only used as specified by the manufacturers, they would also be maintained accordingly.

“In addition to acquisition of the major fire-fighting vehicles we have procured eight new water tankers for continuous agent applications and more will still come. Additional eleven ambulances were also procured to replace the obsolete ones that were bought in 1996,” he added.

He revealed that for the first time, the Fire Chiefs have their Response Commanders’ Vehicles, the two new Prado jeeps were deployed to MMA and NAIA respectively, adding that more will also be procured in due course.

“We have also taken delivery of Aircraft Removal and Recovery Equipment that can handle critical aircraft coming to our airports. We also enhanced the provision of dedicated water supply with hydrants.

A number of dilapidated Fire Stations were renovated and provision of new ones in Kano and Enugu are in the pipe line.

More importantly this Management also took cognizance of the human factor principles – the personnel being the interface between the equipment and application of procedure, consequently, a high percentage of our budget was channelled to training.

This decision enabled our staff to be efficiently integrated with procedures and requirements that make FAAN better.

“I am greatly honoured to be part of this transformation for better FAAN and better Aviation Sector. FAAN Management dedicates these ten new Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting vehicles today, to demonstrate our continued and elevated safety focus for passengers, aircraft and other airport users.

“It will boost the certification of international airports in Nigeria which would increase patronage from more international flights and further enhance the confidence of international investors in our nation.”