A fire protection expert and the Chief Executive Officer, Surveillant Fire Limited, Jumade Adejola, has warned people against patronising roadside hawkers of fire extinguishers, saying that such appliances are ineffective to fight fire.
He said, “Product users should be able to identify those that supply genuine products. Some fire extinguishers are sold for N9,000, our own is sold for N14,000. Both of them are not the same. Some fire extinguishers are even sold along the roadside, it is shocking.
“We are talking of safety equipment; they are selling them in the traffic. Those are ordinary spray cans, they cannot put out any fire. I have tried them several times.
“You need to understand that there is standard in everything. Make sure you identify a standard company that supplies standard products and ensure that the government regulation is properly monitored.”
While fielding questions about the proliferation of fake products and quacks in the firefighting sector, Adejola confirmed that there were many quacks promoting substandard products.
He said, “We have a lot of them. Some Nigerians have gone to the extent of registering names of companies producing genuine products so that they can bring in fake products from China to sell, using the names of the genuine brands.
“The only way out is government regulation to check all these things. If there is regulation, we can discourage the people that are bringing in fake products.”
On why he was depending on imported fire equipment, he explained that he was conscious about the standard of the products being marketed by his firm, adding that he was not happy importing and was making efforts to get the products assembled locally.
Adejola stated, “The reason is because we want to be careful of the products that we have. We were supposed to start our assembly plant in Nigeria, because we are not happy importing. What we have done is to invite some of the original equipment manufacturers down to Nigeria to see if they can assemble here and sell to us.
“The ironic part of it was that when they came, they discovered that the cost of assembling here was higher than producing over there, because of the epileptic power situation. Most of the equipment they use are robotics and power equipment, and they require steady supply of electricity.”
The fire expert lamented that as an importer, he had challenges with sourcing forex and did not also rely on bank loans for his business because of the high interest rates.
“We have never borrowed money from the bank to run this business, because we cannot cope with the interest rate. The way we have been financing our business is that we have been ploughing back our profit,” he added.
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