Stakeholders in the built and fire safety have brainstormed on ways to curb the incessant cases of fire incidents that have claimed lives and goods worth millions in naira across markets in Nigeria.
The national fire workshop themed “Fire Safety Management in Nigerian Markets: Challenges and Pragmatic Solutions” was convened in Abuja by the building research department and fire safety section of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) had in attendance stakeholders from both the government and private sector.
Delivering his opening address, the NBRRI director-general, Prof. Samson Duna, said the workshop seeks concrete solutions towards eradicating incessant fire incidence in the Nigerian market, adding that this will not only enhance the performance of the sector but also boost the economy of the country.
“In line with the institute mandate on capacity-building for professionals and stakeholders in the built environment, the institute has over the years organised various annual international workshops and technical conferences on topical issues with the primary objective of raising the awareness of stakeholders in the construction industry and the general public to chart future action plans for the industry and Nigeria.
“There has, indeed, been a positive impact of previous NBRRI workshops as topical issues are brought to the front burner with the primary objective of raising the awareness of stakeholders in the construction industry and the general public toward fashioning out action plans for our country’s growth.
Let me use this medium to commend our able research officers for striving towards actualising the institute’s mandates through its various research and development activities,” he added.
In his goodwill message, a director at the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) and NBRRI board member, Dr. Peter Ekweozoh, described the workshop as “timely, considering the rate of loss of lives and damages to properties due to frequent fire outbreaks” in the country.
He said it is commendable that over the years, the institute has positioned itself amongst the most vibrant in its parent ministry (FMSTI) which is evident in the recent contributions and breakthroughs of its R&D activities.
Ekweozoh assured participants that the ministry, as a parent of the NBRRI, will continue to support the institute towards achieving its vision, mission and mandates designed to make it a research centre of global repute and standard.
Earlier, the NBRRI head of building research, Dr. Jibrin Sule, restated that the theme of the workshop was timely and relevant to national focus and dispensation.
“Certainly, meeting the country’s economic targets and enhancing the growth of the country’s GDP will require a collective effort, synergy and cooperation from all stakeholders in the built environment. Thus, attending a forum such as this, where intellectuals and professionals gather to chart a way forward for our collective national gain, is always heart warming to us as an institute.
“Regarding the themes of this workshop, it is worthy to note that, in Nigeria today, the rate of loss of lives and damages to properties due to frequent fire outbreaks is alarming and, if not checked, will degenerate to a national disaster. Properties worth billions of naira have been lost in our markets due to incessant fire incidences. Also worrying is the increasing number of lives lost in the outbreak. While traders lament the activities of relevant fire-fighting institutions, the prevailing thought is that traders and market managers have failed to comply with fire safety measures. It is on that basis that this workshop is organised,” he added.