Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun on Monday inaugurated two new fire fighting trucks for the state fire service.
Mr Adeleke, during the inauguration, stated that the state disaster management strategy would be unveiled soon.
He said the procurement of the two new trucks was the first phase of the fire service sector reform in the state, promising that more trucks would be procured.
“Today, I kick-started phase one of our administration’s reform of the fire service sector.
“This is the start of an expanded reform which will include the provision of fire fighting trucks, equipment accessories, training of personnel and implementation of national standards for disaster prevention.
“When we took office, the fire service was down. The service lacks appropriate fire-fighting equipment.
“The sector was largely neglected. Our team decided to focus attention on re-equipping the service because of its importance to the state economy.
“Disaster management is a key element of every economy. Unfortunately, this is a sector mostly overlooked.
“Failure to manage disaster issues can wreck homes, individuals, businesses and even a state. We must all join hands to ensure preventive practices.
“Our government is working on a disaster preparedness management strategy.
“The Secretary to the State Government is to work on an inter-ministerial committee to fast track the process,” he said.
Mr Rasheed Aderibigbe, the state commissioner for home affairs, in his address, thanked Mr Adeleke for moving towards reviving the fire service.
He said the fire fighting trucks and others to come would assist the state fire service in fighting and curtail the incidence of fire outbreaks in the state.
Speaking to journalists on the sideline of the programme, Adekunle Ibrahim, Osun fire service spokesperson, said the service appreciated the gesture of the governor.
Mr Ibrahim said the last time a fire truck was procured for the service was during former Gov. Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s administration about 15 years ago.
“The last time the state government bought fire trucks was during the Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s administration, while former Gov. Rauf Aregbesola repaired the trucks.
“We really appreciate this gesture and thank the governor for looking towards reviving the state fire service.
“Mr Governor said this is the first phase and I believe by the time more fire trucks are provided, Osun State Fire Service would be the best in the South-West region,” he said.