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Disaster: Stakeholders Advocate Establishment Of Emergency Trust Fund In States

By Ignatius Okpara, Asaba

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Participants at the annual consultative meeting of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) weekend called for the establishment of Emergency Trust Fund by state governments.

According to them, the body should be funded with 1per cent each, from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and the monthly federal allocation, adding that the proposal should be pursued “through appropriate legislations.

The disaster stakeholders who spoke in Asaba, the Delta state capital, said the idea has become necessary due to lack of defined funding sources and allocation criteria for the SEMAs by state governments resulting to over reliance on NEMA.

They observed that most of SEMAs are either not funded or are inadequately funded in spite of the enormity of disaster management activities in the states.

The participants also noted that most SEMAs were not established by law and those established by law were not functional as well as lacked proper structure with full complement of departments, units and staff.

The consultative meeting with SEMAs is an annual event organized by NEMA to consider recent trends of disaster management across Nigeria, update SEMAs on recent changes in MEMA’s policies as well as receive updates with a view to strengthening disaster management at the state level.

Speaking at the ceremony, Director General of NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi, called for stronger coordination among critical stakeholders, especially between the coordinating agencies at the federal and state levels.

He stressed that effective disaster management and humanitarian service delivery cannot be achieved by one tier of government alone.

“Government institutions, the private sector, local and international organizations and individual must work together for a nation like ours to meet its objectives of emergency management, disaster risk reduction and the building of strong national resilience.”

The NEMA boss, also pointed out that coordination allows all personnel and agencies involved in emergency management to work together for enhanced service delivery.

He said the main goal of coordination is to save lives, protection of properties, critical national assets and infrastructure as well as complete restoration of normalcy in the aftermath of disasters.

The participants were executive secretaries/heads of state emergency management agencies from each state, NEMA zonal coordinators and management staff.


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