Flood: State governments are getting more proactive – NEMA D-G

State governments are becoming more proactive in their reaction to disaster challenges in the country, according to Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Ahmed made the remarks at the conclusion of a four-day course in Abuja for agency personnel as well as personnel from other State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs).


The workshop on “Disaster Management and Preparedness Institutional Capacity Strengthening” was co-organized with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).


UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescents (IFRC), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the Nigerian Red Cross Society all contributed to the session.


The D-G stated that the choice by state governments to send delegates to the workshop demonstrated that they were more committed to dealing with disasters at the grassroots and sub-national levels.


He stated that the choice to bring NEMA and SEMA officials together for the training was deliberate since the agency was committed to developing cooperation, collaboration, experience sharing, and enhanced engagement between federal and state agencies.


Building disaster management personnel capacity, he believes, is a vital component of effective and efficient disaster management.


“At NEMA, we are looking beyond the present and working to build a more robust disaster management system in which all relevant stakeholders are not only aware of their roles but also prepared to carry them out.”


“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 thanked UN-OCHA and other stakeholders for partnering with the agency on the training, advised participants to utilise what they had learned to improve services in their respective states.


Mr Trond Jensen, Head of UN-OCHA Office, represented by Mr Ibrahima Barry, Head of Government Liaison Unit, told NEMA that the UN-OCHA office is ready to continue partnering with NEMA to efficiently discharge its missions.


“In the humanitarian sector, our role is to support government efforts, and UN-OCHA will continue to strengthen our collaboration with NEMA.”


“We will also establish a communication network so that we can stay in touch and stay up to date in the event of an emergency,” he stated.


Mr Hopewell Munyari, Operations Manager, IFRC, stated in his remarks that it was critical to have constant cooperation with essential stakeholders in disaster response in the country.


“I hope you all will go back to your states and implement what you have learned after the workshop,” he remarked.


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