Niger govt acquires N590m fire fighting equipment
.Assists indigenes to access bank loans
By Ummi Ismaeel,
Niger State government has procured N590 million fire fighting equipment.
It is also planning to sponsor 150 personnel to acquire professional fire fighting skills.
state government was responding to calls for the overhauling of the state fire service with a view to making it more responsive to the needs of citizens.
It would be recalled that fire razed down 25 out of the 250 houses at the Bida Housing Project initiated by the immediate past administration and many other areas in the state.
Addressing journalists after the week’s post-exco meeting on Thursday on efforts being made to reduce fire disasters, Secretary to Niger State Government (SSG), Alhaji Musa Ladan, said that the government has expended N590 million to purchase 16 fire fighting trucks.
He said that the council also approved the recruitment of 150 fire fighters who would be trained at the state-owned fire fighting institute, he said, adding however that, “The Governor has given the relevant agencies two weeks ultimatum to ensure that available fire fighting machines are in good working conditions.
“We have swung into action. Out of the 16 trucks we bought, the 14 regular ones cost us N500 million, while the two rapid response fire fighting machines that can pomp between 100 and 200 metres distance cost N90 million”.
Meanwhile, the state government has said that its six months land acquisition bonanza has added value to the lives of citizens who are now enjoying the benefits of using the titles to access bank loans.
Niger state government announced land order reducing from N250, 000 to N15, 000 for urban areas and N5, 000 for rural areas to process Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) with effects from 1st January through the 30th of June, 2017.
The Bonanza has however come under criticisms and misunderstanding as many believed the state government was allocating land to people while others insinuated that it was all fraud that will soon fizzle out when the true intents of government will begin to manifest.
But the Director-General, Niger State Geographic Information System (NIGIS), Dr. Abdul Husaini, explained that the state government was not allocating or selling land to people but initiated and promoting a more simplified access to land titles and creating robust database of property owners for effective planning and decision making and not allocating land to its proxies as alleged.
Husaini also said that the new policy would also enhance promotion of security of lives and properties of citizens. “Securing our state can be guaranteed by knowing who is where and doing what”.
According to the Director-General, “No land is free, but about 90 percent of land are titled. All we are trying to do is to remove all the bottlenecks to encourage people to get C of O with which they can use as collateral in accessing loan facilities”.