Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister for Interior and former executive governor of the State of Osun, yesterday commissioned 10 units of MAN TGM 18.280 Fire Fighter truck into the Federal Fire Service (FFS), which according to him, are at the total cost of N1.8 Billion. He said the delivery of the trucks is testimony of the desire of the president, Muhammadu Buhari, to reposition the Federal Fire Service. He further said that it is in response to the National Response Strategy, and lauded the Federal Fire Service for responding to 2,615 fire calls, rescuing 724 lives, and saving assets worth N1.629 trillion between June and October, 2019 in Nigeria.
However, the cost of the trucks has led many Nigerians to wonder why a unit of fire fighter truck will cost as much as N150 million, as bombarded Google search engine to verify how much fire fighter trucks cost per unit. Many also alleged the cost per unit was inflated, and insinuated corruption. Moreover, because by the cost quoted by relevant websites, cost per unit of each of the specification appear to be N 100,278,750 without shipping costs. Hence Nigerians are asking if shipping cost and duties and logistics could take as much as N49 million each.
The arrival of the trucks will boost the operations of the Federal Fire Service in its resolve to battle fire and rescue responsibilities. Nigeria has suffered fire outbreak in strategic offices like INEC Offices, Federal Revenue Services Office, Accountant General Office, and even the Aso Rock villa recently. Not to mention the outbreaks in markets as has happened in Balogun Market, Ariaria, and recently markets in Kano and Delta States.
Inflated costs has been a way politicians and administrators have siphoned funds hitherto, and citizens are hoping that this is not another means to pocket public funds.
Source: Federal Fire Service. Picture Credit: Julius Dolapo