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Aviation Minister unveils over N12b fire tenders, establish fire truck overhaul, rehabilitation, maintenance center in Nigeria

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New firefighting trucks

Ten new state-of-the-art aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles have been purchased for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, to serve three International airports.

The airports are Lagos, Kano and Abuja.
At the inauguration of the vehicles, the minister of aviation Hadi Sirika said, this is further evidence of the commitment of the Buhari government transformation of the sector for a safe, secured and efficient industry.

According to the minister, for over 15 years, no single fire vehicle had been purchased to fight fire in the event of an occurrence.

Sirika noted that, what obtained in the past is, cannibalizing one or two fire trucks to fix another, majority of which were obsolete and outdated.

”The absence of fire cover is the number reason to close down an airport”.

He recalled the sad accident involving the Sosoliso crash in Port-Harcourt where there was no adequate fire cover for the airport to save passengers on board, especially the children coming back from school.

”We all remember our children that left Abuja to Port Harcourt in the sosoliso crash, we couldn’t save those children because some of them even though the airplane landed but crashed they were still alive, we didn’t have adequate proper fire cover to save those lives and parents were seeing their children burning alive”.

Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika unveiling the fire trucks in Lagos

He said, the ten fire tenders were purchased at over N12 billion, adding that, N12 billion is a huge amount of money to be deployed in one section of an airport.

The Minister stated that, the investments in the aviation industry both seen and unseen by passengers has been the focus of the Buhari administration since 2015.

He added that they are all intended to keep everyone ”very safe, very secure and move very efficiently”.

The minister disclosed that, a fire truck rehabilitation, overhaul and maintenance center is to be established and begin to assemble in Nigeria for use in the country and for the market for West and Central Africa.

He said, the contract has been awarded and ongoing and will be operational in 6 months.

”So we are doing quite a lot and we are talking about safety and security of the sector. When we leave we pray those people coming to succeed us would do much, much better than we have done”.

In his opening remarks, the Managing Director, FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu said, this acquisition is an attestation of quality and positive transformational changes for the safe, secure and efficient Aviation sector of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking on the acquired vehicles, he said, they strictly adhered to all regulatory automotive standards for major firefighting vehicles.

According to capt. Yadudu, 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 and the acceleration rate is from 0 to 80km/hr in 30 seconds. 

“The truck can discharge while in motion (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 additional vehicles for Port-Harcourt and Enugu”.

He assured comprehensive training for the end users of the vehicles and the mechanical units and maintenance too. 

“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 firefighting vehicles, the FAAN boss announced, they also procured eight (8) new water tankers for continuous agent applications and more will still come. 

“Additional eleven (11) ambulances were also procured to replace the obsolete ones that were bought in 1996”.

“For the first time the Fire Chiefs have their Response Commanders’ Vehicles, the two new Prado jeeps were deployed to MMA and NAIA respectively, 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 pipeline”, he added.

He concluded by saying, “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”. 

“These efforts are geared towards ensuring Nigeria becomes an international hub in Africa”.

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