Flood: State govts becoming more proactive – NEMA D-G

Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has said that state governments are becoming more proactive in their response to disaster issues in the country.

Ahmed said this at the end of a four-day workshop organised for staff of the agency and staff of various State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop with the theme: “Disaster Management and Preparedness Institutional Capacity Strengthening” was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).

The workshop had the support of UNICEF, International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent (IFRC), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Nigerian Red Cross Society.

The D-G said that the decision by the state governments to send their representatives for the workshop showed that they were more resolved in tackling disasters at the grassroots and sub-national levels.

He said that the decision to bring together staff of NEMA and SEMAs for the workshop was deliberate as the agency was committed to fostering cooperation, collaboration, experience sharing and enhanced collaboration between the federal and state agencies.

According to him, building capacities of the disaster management staff is a critical component for effective and efficient disaster management.

“In NEMA, we are looking beyond the present and working towards building a more robust system of disaster management where all relevant stakeholders are not only aware but also prepared to carry out their roles.

“This informs the wide range of collaboration and partnership engaged by the agency in the delivery of its mandates,” he said.

The director-general, who appreciated UN-OCHA and other stakeholders for collaborating with the agency for the training, urged the participants to apply the knowledge gained towards improving services in their various states.

Mr Trond Jensen, Head of UN-OCHA office, represented by Mr Ibrahima Barry, Head of Government Liaison Unit, assured of its readiness to continue collaborating with NEMA to effectively discharge its mandates.

“Our role in the humanitarian sector is to support government efforts and we in UN-OCHA will continue to reinforce our collaboration with NEMA.

“One thing we will also do is to create a communication network so that we can keep in touch and get updated when there is an emergency situation,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Hopewell Munyari, Operations Manager, IFRC, said it was important to have continuous collaborations with relevant stakeholders in disaster response in the country.

“It should not stop here after the workshop, I hope you all will go back to your states and implement what you have learnt,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria