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Nigeria Saves N500bn From Combating Fire Outbreaks In 2017



Nigeria has saved over N500billion worth of goods and property  from over 265 fire outbreaks in 10 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),   between January and December 2017, LEADERSHIP Sunday findings have revealed. The affected states are Lagos, Delta, Adamawa, Sokoto, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Osun, Enugu and the FCT.

It was also gathered that N20billion was lost to fire disasters within the period under review. The efforts of the Nigeria’s fire fighting authorities may have saved the country over N500billion worth of goods and property  from over 265 fire outbreaks in 10 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),   between January and December 2017, LEADERSHIPSunday findings have revealed.

The affected states are Lagos, Delta, Adamawa, Sokoto, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Osun, Enugu and the FCT. It was also gathered that N20billion was lost to fire disasters within the period under review in the 10 states. The chairman, Senate Committee of Interior, Senator Andy Uba, revealed in November last year that Nigeria had lost over N6trillion to fire outbreaks in five years.

Alarming as these numbers are, they could be significantly higher if all the fire incidents in the 36 states were recorded in an efficient operational fire statistics database. In the last two years, insurance companies have paid a sum of N14 billion insurance claims to fire victims across the country, LEADERSHIP Sunday can exclusively reveal.

The Federal Fire Service (FFS) said it responded and saved properties worth N426.5 billion from 400 fire incidents which ravaged parts of Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja between January to December 2017.

Statistics exclusively obtained from the National Fire Collation Centre Abuja by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY indicate that estimated properties valued at N5.18 billion were lost to the fire incidents during the period under review. The statistics show that 39 out of the 400 fire incidents recorded in 2017 were false calls and that while 10 lives were lost, two were saved and nine rescued.

The document obtained from the Data Collation Centre of the Federal Fire Service showed that private dwellings recorded the highest number of fire incidents of 160 within the stated period. The statistics gave a breakdown of types of other premises affected to include public buildings/ government quarters (99), educational establishments (2), shops (9), clubs, hotels and restaurants (4) and markets only three incidences.

The statistics further revealed that while petrol stations and open grounds recorded 33 outbreaks with five deaths, oil and gas installations recorded just three. National public relations officer of the Service, Ugo Huan Sandra, pledged the agency’s readiness to step up efforts to reduce fire outbreaks in the country through public awareness campaigns in schools, markets, and other places.

While fielding questions from LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, the FFS PRO expressed optimism that the National Fire Code would help in reducing fire outbreaks in the country if strictly adhered to.


 …Delta Saved N65Bn, Says Commissioner

In Delta, property worth N65 billion was saved from various fire outbreaks across the state between January and October 2017. The Delta Commissioner in charge of Bureau for Special Duties, Mr Ernest Ogwezzy, disclosed this during a budget defence meeting with the State House of Assembly Committee on Special Duties.

He, however, noted that during the period under review, property worth N11 billion were also lost to various fire disasters in the state. He said his office responded promptly to 175 distress calls, 12 of which were false.

The commissioner also said that in the course of responding to the distress calls, the office rescued six persons alive while three died. He said the Bureau embarked on a number of projects in 2017, including water hydrant and borehole at the headquarters of the state fire service command, at the cost of N11.6 million.

He said the project, when completed, would enhance effective service adding that the office presently depended on private borehole for water supply.


N2.9bn Saved In Kano 

The Kano State Fire Service said goods worth N2.9 billion were saved while N880 million estimated property were destroyed by fire during the period under review.

It noted that no fewer than 123 lives were lost and 1, 721 lives saved from the 660 fire outbreaks recorded across the state from January to December this year.

The Director of the State Fire Service, Alhaji Sagir Madaki, disclosed this in Kano.

“We received 1, 148 rescue calls and 249 false alarms from members of the public during the period under review,” he said.


Sokoto State, N2.25bn

The Sokoto State Fire Service Department said properties worth over N2.25bn were saved from over 480 cases of fire outbreaks  recorded in the state in 2017.

Director-General of the service, Murtala Muhammad disclosed that properties worth over N2.6bn were lost in the fire outbreaks, which also claimed 11 lives.

He attributed the causes of fire outbreaks to negligence, mishandling of electrical appliances and careless attitude by individuals.

Muhammed said, “From January to July, the state fire service recorded 480 outbreaks at different locations, the most harrowing of them were those of old market, Mannuri and Maiturare roads as well as Lambar Tureta and some remote areas in the state.

“The properties destroyed were estimated at N1.7bn while the department was able to save properties worth over N2.25bn.”


 Adamawa State, N441.43m

Property worth N441.43 million was saved and 15 persons rescued in 60 major fire outbreaks in Adamawa last year.

The State Chief Fire Officer, Adamu Abdullahi, gave the figure in an interview in Yola, the state capital.

Mr Abdullahi said that no life was lost in all the fire incidents which he described as domestic.

“In 2017, we recorded 60 fire outbreaks and thanked God no life was lost. Property worth N441.43 million was saved while N126 million worth of property was lost in the fire outbreaks,” Mr Abdullahi said.

He, however, confirmed that after several investigations, it was discovered that most of the fire incidents occurred as a result of negligence and improper installation of electrical appliances.

Mr Abdullahi said that compared to the 2016 records, fire outbreaks declined considerably in 2017.

He said that the state government, in a bid to protect the lives and property of its citizens, had purchased three new fire-fighting equipment and refurbished five others with sophisticated equipment.

Mr Abdullahi said, however, that lack of adequate staff was among the major challenges facing the services.


Nasarawa State, N5m

The chief fire officer of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Dogara Dalhatu, revealed that property worth N5 million was saved in the fires that broke out in the state last year.

Dalhatu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Lafia, noted that six persons lost their lives, while property worth N82 million was lost during the incidents.

According to Dalhatu, the service received 89 distress calls, 78 of which were for fire outbreaks while 10 were for rescue from wells and open water.


187 Fire Incidents Recorded In Enugu in 2017

Enugu State recorded 187 fire incidents within the period under review.

The executive secretary, Enugu State Emergency Agency {SEMA}, Mrs Nkechi Eneh, revealed the startling figures at a two-day stakeholders forum on effective disaster management with the theme “Emergency Preparedness and Response: Key to Effective Disaster Risk Management” held at the Nike Lake Resort, Enugu.

Osun Records 121 Fire Outbreaks

Osun State Fire Service yesterday said it recorded 121 fire outbreaks in the state between January and November 2017. The Staff Officer of the Service, Mr Adekunle Ibrahim, disclosed this in Osogbo, the state capital, while speaking  on fire outbreaks, prevention and control.

Ibrahim noted that the figure was lower than in 2016 (152 cases) and  attributed the drop to the intensive, continuous campaign and sensitisation by the service and the state government’s Special Fire Safety Committee.

He attributed the fire incidents recorded to human errors, carelessness and flammable objects (especially electrical equipment).

Kebbi Records 16 Deaths from 140 House Fires in 2017

A total of 16 deaths were recorded in infernos that razed 140 residential houses in 2017 in Kebbi State, according to the State Emergency Management Agency.

Executive director of the agency, Alhaji Abbas Kamba, who made this known in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday, said the figures, obtained from the state Fire Service Department, resulted in the loss of property worth billions of Naira.

.. Insurance firms pay 14bn fire claims

Meanwhile, in the last two years, insurance companies have paid a sum of N14 billion insurance claims to fire victims across the country, LEADERSHIP Sunday can exclusively reveal.

While majority of the claimants are corporate organisations who had insured their office premises against fire outbreaks, investigation revealed that pockets of individuals who had insured their houses, offices or shops against fire disasters are getting claims as well.

With incessant increase in fire incidents across the country, especially in factories and market places, there has been a continuous surge in the volume of fire claims in the last five years.

Data sourced from Insurers’ Digest, a publication of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), shows that insurance companies paid N5.7 billion fire claims in  their 2016 financial year, while market analysts expect the figure to be higher in the 2017 financial year, quoting the figure to be in the region of N8 billion.

For the 2016 financial year, 260 companies and individuals got N5.7 billion claims from 20 insurance companies across the country.

Of the figure, AXA Mansard paid the highest claims of N345 million to Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd for a fire damage, followed by Linkage Assurance Plc who paid Grand Products Company Ltd N312 million claims on a fire incident in the company, while Ranona Ltd got N300 million compensation on a fire incident from NEM Insurance Plc.

Custodian and Allied Insurance Ltd paid N280.9 million fire claims to Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd and another N162 million to Grand Products Company Ltd.

Most of the claims, it was learnt, came from urban centres such as Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.

With this trend, the insurance industry has improved over time in the area of paying genuine claims as more people are now aware of the need to make claims whenever an insured risk occurs.

Already, the Federal Fire Services (FFS) and the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) have signed an agreement to use the Fire Brigade in each state of the federation to increase insurance subscription of buildings, including fire insurance.

This is to ensure that insurance sector generates more premium from fire insurance in the current year, which would also increase the claims profile of underwriting firms in the country.

LEADERSHIP investigation shows that NAICOM is already in discussion with four states, Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna and Gombe, to use their respective state Fire Service agencies to drive the enforcement of building insurance.

It was gathered that while the Fire Service is empowered by law to enforce building insurance, there is also a plan to meet the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to get the buy-in of the 36 state governors on this initiative.

On his part, the chairman of NIA, Mr. Eddie Efekoha, said insurance operators had improved in the area of prompt payment of genuine claims, noting that the association has persuaded its members on the need to honour claims obligations, as, according to him, that is the reason why underwriting firms exist.

He said the best form of insurance advocacy that operators can do is to pay claims as the beneficiaries would spread the message and thus persuade more people to pick up insurance policies, even as he . gave the assurance that insurance operators would continue to live up to their claims responsibilities.

He further asserted that insurance should be considered first in decision making, especially now that it is difficult to replace lost items due to high replacement value. He, therefore, advised his colleagues to publicise the claims they pay as this would increase insurance awareness and acceptance.

Another industry player and executive director, Leadway Assurance Company Ltd, Adetola Adegbayi, urged insured Nigerians to always demand claims from their insurers whenever an insured risk occurs. Adegbayi, who stated this during a media training organised by Leadway Assurance for insurance correspondents in Lagos, noted that some Nigerians who purchased insurance policies were ignorant on when and how to make claims.

He remarked that instead of going to their insurers to make claims, they decide to bear the financial burden themselves.






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