Nigerians react as Buhari’s government spends N12bn to buy 10 firefighting trucks

President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has announced the deployment of the newly acquired N12 billion fire trucks to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made the announcement on Sunday, April 2, 2023, while presenting the fire trucks to the Aeronautical Rescue and Fire Fighting Services of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Sirika noted that the provision of critical safety equipment was essential in the prevention of recurrence of accidents. He noted that in fostering safety and security of flight operations, focus has been placed on the rehabilitation and upgrade of infrastructure, capacity building and manpower development.

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“The Lion Volkan 6×6 Brand, Major Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicles (MFFV) carries 14,000 litres of water, 1,700 litres of foam, 250kg powder capacity each,” said the minister. “The equipment has an acceleration rate of 0-80km per hour in 30 seconds as each of the truck possesses limitless capacity to discharge while in motion and they are also equipped with under chassis nozzles to tackle running fuel fire.”

Sirika added, “It monitors the discharge rate of between 6,000 litres to 10,000 litres per minute and they will be deployed to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.”

Just commissioned 10 Firefighting trucks, total cost of over 12Bn Naira. More to come in due course. Safety has been the Buhari focus in Aviation, since 2015. Hitherto FAAN has not bought new trucks in 15 years.

— Hadi Abubakar Sirika (@hadisirika) April 2, 2023

The N12 billion paid to acquire the trucks means Sirika’s ministry used N1.2 billion to buy each of the trucks that are mostly used in Africa and Arab countries.

It was gathered that the firefighting trucks are made by the Turkish firm, Volkan. The truck is a Lion 6×6 model used by Uganda, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and seven other countries.

The cost of the firefighting trucks has led to criticism from some Nigerians. Reacting to Sirika’s post, some said one truck shouldn’t cost as much as N1 billion.

According to a lawyer with username, @MikeInyeneesq, the Twitter user wrote: “Last minute clearing of Government funds. Datti was right, inflated government contract is another form of corruption. 12Bn naira should be able to build you a firefighting vehicle plant.”

Another Nigerian, with username, @bellotabdullahi, said: “10 or 100? Are they flying firefighting trucks? Do they foresee and forestall accidents? N1.2Bn per truck?! I want to believe is a typo if not pls @officialEFCC beam your searchlight here!”

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Similarly, a supply chain expert, with username, @JosephOnuorah, stated: “Minister of Aviation HADI SIRIKA claim he spent 12 bn to buy 10 fire trucks 🚒 at rate of 1.2bn each! The most expensive Fire truck in the world is less than 1bn naira. The man or somebody duping the ministry made 2.5bn from one transaction. This is why Abuja “Boys” do not…”

Also commenting on the truck’s cost is a user with the account, @IkukuomaC. The Twitter user wrote: “Nigerian minister for Aviation Haidi Sirika has confirmed that federal government bought 10 fire service truck for 12 billion naira meaning each of the truck cost 1.2 billion..”

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