Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State, Nigeria, recently paid a visit to the headquarters of the Borno State Fire Service in Maiduguri. The visit was to express his gratitude to the firefighters who swiftly responded to a major fire outbreak at Gamboru Market in Maiduguri during the last election, preventing the destruction from escalating to the magnitude witnessed two weeks prior at the Maiduguri Monday market.
Zulum commended the firefighters for their gallantry and commitment to their work, and announced the approval of N14.9 million in grants to be disbursed to approximately 149 firemen operating under both the federal and state fire services. The beneficiaries consisted of 60 firemen working with the Borno State Government, 49 working with the Federal Fire Service, and 38 volunteer-firefighters.
As a show of appreciation, Zulum directed that each of the 149 firemen be given N100,000 and a bag of rice. During his visit, the governor also directed the employment of 38 volunteer-firemen into the Borno State Fire Service as permanent staff. These volunteers had been offering supportive services without receiving salaries that permanent staff are entitled to, with 20 of them from the Maiduguri International Hotel and 18 from the Borno State Fire Service.
In addition to the employment directive, Zulum asked the management of Borno State Fire Service to submit all of their requirements that will ensure the optimal performance of firemen in prevention and responses to fire incidents. The governor extended a similar gesture to the Federal Fire Service, asking them to submit requirements in order to receive some intervention from the state government.
The governor’s visit to the fire service headquarters is a commendable step towards recognizing and appreciating the hard work and dedication of these essential workers. It is also a demonstration of the government’s commitment to improving the welfare and working conditions of firefighters in the state. This is a much-needed intervention that will go a long way in boosting the morale and productivity of firefighters, who often work under challenging circumstances to ensure the safety and security of citizens.