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NEMA To States: Make Adequate Budgetary Provision For Disaster Management

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

The National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, has enjoined state governments in Nigeria, especially those of south east extraction to always make adequate budgetary provision for disaster handling in their annual budget proposal.

According to the Agency, strengthening and proper funding of State Emergency Management Agencies, (SEMAs) would go a long way in reducing pressure and over dependency on NEMA.

Briefing newsmen Tuesday in his office in Enugu, South- East zonal coordinator of NEMA, Dr. Bandele Abdulahi Onimode, who reviewed activities of the agency within the zone in 2013, and its  programme for 2014, said it is high time governments at all levels begin to see disaster as a security issue and not mere environmental problem.

He said the federal government alone does not have the capacity of shouldering disaster problems and challenges due to its capital intensive nature, hence the need for local and state governments to always pay their expected roles on the issue.

“Disaster management I must tell you, is quite enormous, multi- sectorial, and capital intensive across the globe including Nigeria, and that is why the local and state governments must always show serious commitment on the issue” he insisted

The south east NEMA chief, had also used the forum to advocate for more synergy between the agency and other key stake holders in disaster handling, especially security agencies.

He noted that 2013 was a hectic year for the agency, following the near overwhelming flood disaster challenge that befell parts of Nigeria, including states within the southeast zone, such as Anambra.

Despite all odds, the South east NEMA zonal office he said, had continue to do its  best in tackling disaster issues in its areas of jurisdiction.

He added that “though all we have achieved was made possible because of the tremendous support we always get from our workaholic and dynamic Director- General, Alhaji Sani Sidi”.

“As I speak to you, my office has taken delivering of some brand new operational vehicles, among which is a water tanker, trailer, a modern Multi Purpose Intensive Care Ambulance (MPICA) and other working facilities.

While assuring that his policy thrust for 2014, would be to consolidate on the gains of 2013, the zonal coordinator, however, enumerated some of the feats recorded by the zone during the year under review, to include training of scores of Federal Road Safety Commission FRSC personnel in state of the zone.

Other 2013 achievement includes, setting up of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) clubs in secondary schools within the zone, delivering of relief materials to disaster affected communities, setting up of National Youth service Corps NYSC. Disaster volunteer bodies, disaster sensitazation/enlightenment workshops for stakeholders, on health related disease, amongst others.


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