In its continued effort to control and manage varied fire disasters, the Federal Government is to partner with the California National Guard for capacity training and assistance to ensure that it curtails the destruction of lives and properties in forests and homes during such disasters.
Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this during a meeting with the delegation from the California National Guard headed by Major-General David S.Baldwin-Adjutant General and his team on a visit today, Monday, 6 December, 2021 in Abuja.
Aregbesola stressed that inter-agency operations of the Federal Fire Service and that of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps is very necessary to protect armless fire fighters when they embark on such rescue mission.
According to him, “this will no doubt go a long way in protecting them from being attacked during official operations of fire rescue missions”.
He stated that before embarking on any rescue mission by Federal Fire Service officers, he expects that the armed squad of the NSCDC to first be on ground to clear the way for fire fighters to ease their rescue operation and to avoid being killed or harmed since they are not armed .
The Minister, requested the National Guard to assist agencies on inter-agency operations to enhance their capabilities to manage wide and huge fire incidences, ”The aim of humanity is to benefit from people’s experiences and be better prepared towards such occurrences, thereby putting timely necessary remedy in place”
Aregbesola hopes that a team should be arranged to work with the Federal Fire Service officers and the Nigerian Air Force crew to develop a skill to do buck planning that will provide tangible solutions and to also provide facilities such as aircraft to deal with huge wide fire disasters.
The Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore in his welcome remarks, said that the visit of the California Guard would have been earlier, but for the global COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented the team from coming.
Belgore revealed that the Ministry and all its Services will be in Ilorin this week for the 2nd Annual Ministerial Retreat to address and discuss security issues thereby coming up with better strategies that will definitely improve internal security management in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Major General MG David Baldwin, Adjutant General of the California National Guard, appreciated the Minister, the Permanent Secretary, the CGs of the Agencies and all management staff of the Ministry who had created time to discuss the issue of collaboration on the Internal Security of Nigeria, particularly the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on the training and retraining of its personnel to improve their security capabilities.
Hon.Aliyu Gebi, in his overview of the relationship between the Ministry and CANG stated that the partnership had started with former American President, Barrack Obama for Nigeria to gain experience from their wealth of knowledge, particularly in their activities as it relates to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
He used the occasion to extend visiting opportunity to relevant officers of the Ministry of Interior to visit California so that the Federal Fire officers can learn more on the California mode of operation since they are best in international standard in areas of wide and huge fire disaster management.
Other dignitaries at the event are: MG David Baldwin, Adjutant General of California Guard; Lt.Col.Robert Faith; Captain Gregorg Bloom; Major. Evelyn Scot; BG Usman, Nigeria’s Defence Attache to Washington DC; Directors from the Ministry and Service Chiefs of Agencies under the Ministry.