A government that embarks on massive infrastructural development without providing a functional fire fighting service to protect its infrastructure in the event of a fire outbrake, could be likend to a hen that deliberately exposes her chick for the hawk to prey on at will.
The Rivers State Fire Service has been without a functional fire fighting truck for more than two months running. According to a source in the Ministry of Special Duties who pleaded anonimity, the only functional truck the Rivers State Fire Service had, was involved in an accident more than two months ago , around the Obiri- Ikwerre axis of Port Harcourt.
The source stated further that the Commissioner for the Ministry of Special Duties, mr. Bariere Thomas is helpless and frustrated as all effort to get the State Governor, Nyesom Wike pay attention to the State Fire Service has failed.
The Rivers State Fire Service is the State-owned fire fighting body in Rivers State, primarily tasked with providing fire protection, emergency response and safety services to the State, its residents and visitors.
The Fire Service has Stations located at Borikiri, Port harcourt, Degema, Ahoada and Rumuodomaya. Currently, non of these Station has a fire fighting truck. Its activities are overseen by the Rivers State Ministry of Special Duties. With the emergence
Of new commercial centers like Bori, Omoku, Mbiama, etc., the need for the establishment of new Stations cannot be over emphasized.
In the event of fire outbreak in any part of Rivers State, the people would be at the mercy of God and probably private companies liKe ELF and AGIP. However, of recent, these two companies have refused to honoure emergency calls because, most times, their trucks gets vandalized by angry youths when the trucks arrives late at the scene.
It is surprising the Rivers State government has relegated and down played the relevance and inportance of the Rivers State Fire Service. How does Governor Nyesom Wike intend to protect the infrastructure he is putting in place, in the event of a fire outbreak that gives no notice before occuring ?
It is on record that in the year 2009, the value of property saved in 85 fire incidents accros the State, accounted for N67 billion. Can Rivers State afford to loose such value of property in the current state of her economy?