The Borno Fire Service on Thursday appealed for more facilities to enable it to tackle fire outbreaks and other duties in the state.
The service Spokesman, Mr Ambursa Pindar, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri.
According to him, the entire service has only one driver to man the over 60 firefighting trucks in the state.
He said that out of the eight drivers in the service, seven retired in December 2016, leaving only one.
He added that “the driver’s retirement pose a huge challenge to the department in providing prompt response to fire incidents.
“The service has written more than three letters to the state’s Ministry of Information, Home Affairs and Culture seeking additional drivers, there has been no response.
“On March 28, 2017, we wrote to the ministry to employ six drivers on a contract basis to complement the effort of the only driver.
“Our director on several occasions has driven trucks to fire incident scenes because there is no driver to help.
“The director drove to the fire outbreak scene at Konduga IDPs camp to address the problem.”
He said there was a day the state capital had four fire outbreaks and the department could not respond quickly to all the outbreaks.
“We are the last set of employees in the department since 1989 and the hazard allowance per firefighter since 1998 remains N50.
“The state needs more fire stations in 505 Housing Estate, the State Mechanical Workshop, 1000 Estate, 303 Housing Estate, among other areas, to cater for the frequent fire outbreaks in the state,” Pindar said.
He added that the department recorded 114 cases of fire outbreaks in the state capital between January and June.