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Nigeria losses N1tn in 2022 to fire incidents

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Number of occurrences rose to 2,056, resulting in huge losses of property.

During a fire prevention and management sensitization session conducted at the Headquarters 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, it was revealed that in 2022, Nigeria reported more than 2,056 fire incidents, which resulted in the loss of more than N1 trillion worth of property. Maj. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, who is General Officer Commanding (1 Division) Nigerian Army, revealed this information, noting that the upsurge in fire incidents in Nigeria also affected the Nigerian military’s assets.

The Maj. Gen., represented by Brig. Gen. Ogochukwu Ugeleka clarified that Nigeria reported more incidences of fire accidents in 2022, resulting in the huge loss of property. The statement also indicated that domestic fires were responsible for more than 41 percent of the overall amount of fire incidents that occurred in the neighboring country(Ghana). He further explained that the seminar was scheduled as part of the Army’s annual program to engage the communities of barracks and cantonments in conversation about fire safety.

Population growth and other human factors contribute to fire incidents.

He stated that there had been an increasing rise in fires due to population expansion, unstable power, carelessness, and illegal electrical wiring, along with other factors, and that the Nigerian Army was also harmed by the fire spikes. Maj. Gen. Lagbaja said that the fire occurrences caused damage to its infrastructure and put the lives of the servicemen and their families who were housed in barracks as well as cantonments in jeopardy. On January 24, 2021, a fire broke out at the Depot of the Nigerian Army in Zaria, destroying 15 buildings.

Moreover, the fire has been responsible for the destruction of several officers’ and soldiers’ quarters, as well as essential military assets located within barracks, cantonments, and other critical infrastructure in the Area of Responsibility for the Division. He underlined the necessity of maintaining awareness of fire prevention and control in all military barracks by conducting sensitization campaigns on fire prevention and management and establishing bodies in all divisions and units to promote the campaign. He said this should be done in order to ensure the program’s sustainability.

Nigerians should use insurance firms’ property protection measures.

In a report, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated that the exceptionally dry weather that occurred just before the rainy season was to blame for the increased number of fire accidents that occurred in markets all throughout the country. According to Mr. Mustapha Ahmed, the Director General of NEMA, the agency went on to further advise Nigerians to use insurance firms as a method of securing and protecting their possessions and businesses and also as a way to mitigate risk transfer in the scenario of a fire.

According to Mustapha Ahmed said, fire, just like any other natural disaster, has always been a historical event for humanity. Yet the frequency of these incidents and the effects they have had over the past few weeks have warranted a major concern and a need for action from all relevant parties. In addition, he mentioned that in December of the previous year, he had warned the general public about the risks of fire disasters occurring during the dry season.

Commencement of the rainy season is characterized by windstorms.

Similar to the case with the beginning of the dry season, the commencement of the rainy season is also marked by characteristic windstorms which swiftly spread flammable material in the form of dry plants and agricultural waste. Prevention is by far the most effective method of firefighting. Establishing an environment of preparedness and adaptability among officials, communities, and members of the general public is the most effective strategy to reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic event such as a fire.

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