The Federal Government is to partner with California National Guard to fight wildfire.
A statement on Monday by the Director Press in the Ministry of Interior, Blessing Lere-Adams, read in part that: “In her continued effort to control and manage varied wide and huge fire disaster, the Federal Government is to partner with the California National Guard for capacity training and assistance to ensure that it curtails the destruction of lives and properties in our forests and homes when such incidences of wide fire disasters occur.”
She said the Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this during the meeting with a delegation from the California National Guard headed by Major-General David Baldwin, Adjutant General and his team on a visit on Monday in Abuja.
Aregbesola stressed that lnter-agency operations of the Federal Fire Service and that of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps is very necessary to protect the nation’s armless fire fighters when they embark on such rescue mission, nothing that: “This will no doubt go a long way protecting them from being attacked during official operations of fire rescue missions.”
The Minister said that before embarking on any rescue mission by our Federal Fire Service officers he expects that the Armed Squad of the NSCDC to first be on ground to clear the way for the fire fighters to ease their rescue operation and to avoid being killed or harmed since they are not armed.
He requested of the National Guard to assist the nation’s Agencies on InterAgency operations to enhance their capabilities to manage wide and huge fire incidences, noting that: “The aim of Humanity is to benefit from people’s experiences and be better prepared towards such occurrences, thereby putting timely necessary remedy in place.”
Aregbesola said he hopes that a team should be arranged to work with the Federal Fire Service officers and the Nigerian Air force crew to develop a skill to do buck planning that will provide tangible solutions and to also provide facilities such as aircraft to deal with huge wide fire disasters.
The Permanent Secretary of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore in his welcome remarks said that the visit of the California Guard would have been earlier, but for the global COVID-19 pandemic, that’s why its holding now.
Belgore revealed that the Ministry and all it’s Services will be in Ilorin this week for the 2nd Annual Ministerial Retreat to address and discuss security grey areas thereby coming up with better strategies that will definitely improve internal security management in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Major General David Baldwin , the Adjutant General of the California National Guard, appreciated the Minister, the Permanent Secretary, the CGs of the Agencies and all Management Staff of the Ministry who had made out time to discuss the issue of collaboration on the Internal Security of Nigeria, particularly the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on the training and retraining of its personnel to improve their security capabilities.
Hon. Aliyu Gebi, in his overview of the Relationship between the Ministry and CANG stated that the partnership had started with former American President, Barrack Obama for Nigeria to gain experience from their wealth of knowledge, particularly in their activities as it relates to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
He used the occasion to extend visiting opportunities to relevant officers of the Ministry of Interior to visit California so that the Federal Fire officers can learn more on the California mode of operation since they are best in international standard in areas of wide and huge Fire disaster Management.