As part of efforts to reduce fire incidents and create jobs for unemployed youths in the country, the Fire Academy of Nigeria (FAN), Ibadan, Oyo State, has announced plans to train 10,000 fire professionals in three years.
Dr Charles Afolabi, the Director-General of the Academy, said this while addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Sunday, saying that the academy, established in 2015, is collaborating with some foreign partners.
According Afolabi, the target of the academy was to produce 10,000 fire professionals across the country for employment in the next three years, adding that the academy had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a partner in Canada and the Oyo State Government, to train youths as fire wardens and marshals.
Definitely we will have 10,000 graduates to be employed and before they finish, we will be going to industries and state governments that this is what we have, to create employment for them.
The good of it all is that we have an international accreditation. Anybody passing through this academy in Nigeria will be able to work anywhere in the world.
Afolabi noted that the academy would seek employment for its graduates, saying that that was the reason it had agreed with the state governments, to have the students for internship in their agencies.
He also said that graduates from the academy had been thought a great deal of surveillance and sensitisation.
Only in Nigeria I have seen that the fire industry is a vocation. It is supposed to be a profession like Accountancy, Marketing and Public Relations.
The fire industry in this country has been overlooked. People feel drilling, climbing and quenching fire are the only things fire-fighting stands for.
We have Fire Engineering, Fire Research, First Aid, Fire Safety and Fire Protection. They are all encompassing.
Afolabi noted that the academy was all out to train the youth, saying that graduates of the academy would work with the government fire agencies, saying:
They will work to identify fire problems and before it gets out of hand, they know who to contact.
We are trying to penetrate the Federal Fire Service. They are equally good and they have international standard.
Some states’ fire services have yet to attain the international standard. No equipment; their staff are not well-paid; infrastructure is nil; and they are too static in nature.