How Hajia Usman Turned NPA fire Fighters Into Professionals

By Stephen Ubanna

Until Hadiza Bala Usman appointment as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority , NPA, mid July 2016,  not much was known about the Authority ‘s fire fighting  Training School at Apapa, Lagos. This is because of the poor attention given to the school, established to produce the much needed trained fire fighters at the  seaports . This is  because of the heavy cargo equipment used at the seaports and  other infrastructural facilities  including buildings which are exposed to fire incidents. Investigation by The Value news Magazine reveals that the Appa Fire Training school  had turned out  hundreds of firefighting Cadets over the years  but that was how far they could.

Usman, the NPD,  Managing Director , appears to have brought out the activities of the school to the limelight , on Wednesday, December 12, 2018,  at the  passing out parade of  the 50 graduants of Squad 50 of the Authority fire Service Cadets at the  Fire Fighting Central Training  School, Apapa.  The   NPA managing Director may have made bold Statement with the passing out of the Cadets that the Lagos State  Fire Fighting Service, LSFFS, are the only  fire fighting agency that  have training schools for fire fighters in Lagos. 

It was learnt the Authority  Fire fighting  Training school, over the last one year had remained a source of labour pool for some private fire fighting Service across the country and those who had been engaged by these Companies had give a good account of themselves , an indication that the support of the Usman led management to the school was not in vain.

She has every reason to  be happy that the rigorous drillings which the Authority fire fighting personnel had gone  through in the Training school to attend to any emergency situation at the seat port and its environs at any time. The radical NPA boss, according to sources had re-equipped the school with modern fire fight equipments  to sustain  its” principle of culture and tradition  built  on excellence  which had turned them into true professional fire fighters  and one of the best  in the country”. This has also reflected on the modern fire fighting tools that had been supplied the Depart at the ports. Recall, that the fire outbreak which gutted the Authority building at Tincan Island port last two years was put out by the Authority firefighters without much trouble.

Given the Professionalism exhibited by the Authority fire fighters whenever called upon to handle emergency fire situations, the NPA, Managing Director had repeatedly  assured the Departmental officials that as a ”responsible  and responsible management , the Authority  will continue  to give them the ”maximum support  and cooperation  to  do their job”.

Davies Recieves An Award

An elated Usman , who is very happy with  the Authority fire fighter personnel believes that going  by the skills that had been demonstrated   by the Cadets that had all passed out from the Apapa Fire Fighters  Training School, at Apapa, while performing their drills, she has no doubt in her mind that  they have been adequately trained  to ”impact positively on the society”.

 At the passing out parade of the fire fighter Cadets, the School Authority may have seen it as an  opportunity  to give awards of appreciation to  Usman, the NPA managing Director over her support and encouragement which had turned the officers of the Department as true professionals who could hold their heads high anywhere in the world. The same award was also said to have been extended to  Seconte Huntis Davis, Executive Director, Operations, who was said to have stood in for the Kaduna state  born Chief Executive of NPA during the passing out parade.

Idris Abubakar, Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services and Mohammed Bello Koko, his counterpart in Finance and Administration were also given award of Appreciation by the School Authorities.  Ahmed Yusuf, General Manager, Human Resources, Yahaya Bukar,  a former General Manager, Health, Safety and Environment and  General Manager, were not left out by the School as they were also given an award of Appreciation. The award of Appreciation given to these NPA key officials may have gladdened their heart that the School officials are happy at the support they are getting from the Usman led management.

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