By Deshi Munkuwe
The turnaround of Nigeria’s fire service has been nothing short of extraordinary since the worthy appointment of Dr. Liman Alhaji Alkali as its Controller General. CGF Ibrahim, the brain behind the tangible transformation of the Federal Fire Service obviously remains one amongst few agents of ‘Change’ and pillars of ‘Next Level’ as championed by President Muhammadu Buhari in his first and second tenures accordingly.
Borne into a humbled and well respected family of Alhaji Abdulrahman Ndabida, the “Waziri of Baro” and the 4th Imam of Baro in Agaie Local Government Area of Niger State, CGF Liman Alhaji Ibrahim attended L.E.A Primary School Baro from 1967 to 1973, and also his high school in Baro, then proceeded to Justice Fati Lami Abubakar College of Art and Legal Studies Minna, from 1974 to 1979.
In his pursuit for further credible and dependable educational dream, CGF Ibrahim attended the Prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for his Degree and at then Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and gained his master’s degree of Public Administration in University of Calabar, 2006, also the Bournemouth University. He also attended the Royal Institute of Public Administration, (RIPA) United Kingdom.
Before his appointment in 2019, The game changer of the Federal Fire Service was one of the Pioneer Cadet Officers in Niger State, Fire Officers, who started his career in Fire Service as a Station Officer on 24th February, 1986.
CGF Ibrahim’s appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Controller General of the Federal Fire Service of Nigeria came following the retirement of his predecessor, Joseph Anebi. Dr Liman, a multiple award winning Controller General assumed office on March 26, 2019.
CGF Ibrahim’s administrative panache has been thrust on Nigerians as the type of leadership they need at this time; the one that within a short period of time has ensured capacity expansion of the agency, reinforcing more proactive and preventive measures, provision of more modern trucks with equipment, training and re-training of officers, establishment and upgrading of officer’s training schools all in a bid to improving mechanisms in managing the activities of Federal Fire Service.
Recall, the Federal Fire Service before the coming of CGF Ibrahim had its presence only in Abuja and Lagos and the Six Geo-political zones; which includes Zone A comprising of Benue, Nasarawa & Plateau with headquarters in Makurdi, Zone B comprising of Katsina, Jigawa & Kaduna with Headquarters in Kano; Zone C comprising Bauchi, Yobe & Borno with Headquarters in Bauchi; Zone D comprising Enugu, Ebonyi, & Anambra with Headquarters in Enugu; Zone E comprising Akwa-Ibom, Rivers & Cross River with Headquarters in Uyo and; Zone F comprising Lagos, Ogun, & Oyo with Headquarters in Lagos.
However, CGF Ibrahim came on board and ensured the Service expanded its operational activities by establishing six additional Zonal Headquarters thus; Zone G -Niger, Kogi & Kwara, with headquarters in Minna; H -Sokoto, Zamfara & Kebbi with headquarters in Sokoto; I-Adamawa, Taraba & Gombe, with headquarters in Yola; J -Owerri & Abia, with headquarters in Owerri; K-Delta, Edo & Bayelsa, with headquarters in Asaba; L-Osun, Ondo & Ekiti with headquarters in Osogbo.
These Zonal Headquarters were equipped with a minimum of two state of the art firefighting trucks and manned by well trained and experienced firemen. Indeed, all these were done within the limited resources available, which brought services closer to the people and improved the response time.
Also, CG Ibrahim on appointment relentlessly ensured the Federal Fire Service presence advanced beyond approval for establishing six (6) additional training schools in the six (6) geopolitical zones of the country.
CGF Ibrahim has ensured more training and retraining of personnel. The agency passed out Officers from Nigeria Air Force, National Intelligence Agency and Defence College who attended Basic Fire Fighting and Rescue/ Pump Operators Course at the National Fire Academy Sheda, Abuja.
More on capacity building of personnel of the Service, over 40 officers have so far approved Personnel’ Professional Training and Courses abroad for men of the Service as part of efforts in ensuring that Nigeria’s firefighting services meet up with international standards to be equipped with modern knowledge and skills as firefighters. Officers were sent for professional training in South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America and Dubai.
In addition, the agency under the able leadership of CGF Ibrahim has recently trained over 300 staff within the country in FALCK Atlantic Training Centre, Ipara Ogun State, and National Fire Academy Sheda where a consultant was engaged in training personnel on building collapse, as well as other professional training in ICT, Public Relations amongst others.
In the area of promotion; the service under the watch of CGF Ibrahim has promoted over 1,276 officers, many of whom have suffered stagnation for more than 10 years.
CGF Ibrahim left no stone unturned in ensuring and supporting state establishments of fire stations and equipping the same with a singular aim of taking the services of the agency closer to the people in all parts of Nigeria.
Most recently, the Controller General, Dr. Liman Alhaji Ibrahim deployed a modern firefighting truck to Ekiti State as commissioned by the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, His Excellency, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The Controller General, Dr. Liman recently deployed modern firefighting trucks to Yobe State (which was commissioned by the Deputy Governor of Yobe State, His Excellency, Alhaji Idi Gubana who represented the State Governor at the event) and also to Rivers state.
The Controller General, Dr. Liman Alhaji Ibrahim in furtherance of ensuring states fire service are supported, a modern firefighting truck was deployed to Gombe State. The Executive Governor of Gombe State, His Excellency, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya officially received and commissioned the truck.
Apparently, the track records of the CGF Ibrahim affirms the fact that working hard is the process, success is the result. What one needs to show people is the results, not the process.
According to Frank Ocean; “What matters is if you get to your end result, is success. And believe us, your success will make a lot of noise for itself, you don’t need to promote it. Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise.”
Indeed the successes recorded by CGF Ibrahim since assumption of office are obvious, affirming the silence, hard work, commitments and sacrifices done behind the camera by the firefighting chief and his team in making the transformation of the Federal Fire Service a reality.
So far, the Federal Fire Service under the leadership of CGF Liman Ibrahim has no doubt ensured its sole mandate – the safety of lives and property of Nigerians – remained as its top most priority. The mandate is achieved by extinguishing, controlling and prevention of fire outbreak through regulation, training, enforcement, public enlightenment programmes and impact reduction during emergencies through adequate preparedness.
Certainly, CGF Liman Alhaji Ibrahim has written his name in gold in changing the narrative of the service. History shall ever remember and appreciate his pragmatic, outstanding and distinct achievements in making the unrealistic a reality towards effective service delivery to Nigeria and Nigerians by the Fire Service.