By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
President Muhammadu Buhari, has received the 2020 Annual report of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),yesterday in Abuja .
Buhari who also inducted disaster reduction equipment worth N1.9 billion, an aid grant from the Government of Japan.
This was contained in statement signed and issued by Head Media and Public Relations NEMA,Manzo Ezekiel.
The report was received on behalf of the President by the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.
Earlier,the Director General of NEMA, AVM. Muhammadu Muhammed (rtd.) handed over the report to the President observed that “The year 2020 was a very significant year as the world was ravaged by the Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, that led to a complete global lockdown of activities.
“Nigeria was not exempted from the negative impact of this pandemic. Amidst this global crisis, the nation was not spared from other devastating incidents ranging from Flooding, Fire, Insurgency, Banditry, Kidnapping, Road Accidents, Pipeline,Gas Explosions, Herders,Farmers Clashes, Communal Clashes, Cattle Rustling, Building Collapse, et cetera”,he said .
He further pointed out that, the nation also experienced the EndSARS protests which led to human-induced crises, destruction of public and private properties, conflict and looting which resulted in the displacement of persons across the country.
Notwithstanding all these challenges he explained that NEMA “collaborated with research institutions (Centres for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies CDRM&DS) and partnered with Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to carry out public awareness campaigns against the spread of COVID-19.”
According to AVM. Muhammed, “In collaboration with UN-Spider and NARSDA, NEMA produced flood maps for efficient response. Advocacy visits were made to the 36 States of the Federation and the Disaster Response Units (DRUs) of the Armed forces, on flood preparedness, mitigation and response.
“Meanwhile, the Agency constituted and activated the Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) with stakeholders like the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), security operatives and Local Government Areas for data gathering and analysis that enhanced relief response to the devastating floods of 2020.”
NEMA’s advocacy and engagements with stakeholders in 2020, led to reduction in the negative impacts of flood on the people.
AVM. Muhammed also expressed gratitude to Mr. President and the agency’s supervising Minister: “I want to thank Mr. President for his continuous support and the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADM&SD) for her guidance and doggedness in the pursuit of efficient Disaster Management in Nigeria. To the National Assembly, we remain grateful for your contributions to the attainment of our objectives.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development expressed her delight at timeously receiving the report.
In her words: I am delighted to receive the 2020 Annual Report of NEMA. Interestingly, the Director General/CEO has just completed a full year in office. The presentation of this report today is by no means a coincidence but showcases of your dedication and optimal service in the Agency so far.
“Traditionally, Annual Reports of this nature usually provide insights into the yearly activities of public organizations. Because they are presented to the public, they also serve the purpose of ensuring transparency and accountability in the conduct and management of the specific public office.
“I like to acknowledge and commend NEMA for having the 2020 Annual Report ready within the specified time which serves as a clear frame as evidences of a commitment of the leadership to the principles of transparency and accountability.”
She also commended the Japanese government for its gesture. “May I specially appreciate the Government and people of Japan on behalf of the Federal Government for the donation of Disaster Risk Reduction specialized equipment for search and rescue being inducted today.
On the part of the Japanese government, Mr. Shinozawa Takayuki, Charge’ d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, explained the aid worth JPY500million (N1.9billion) was to support Nigeria’s effort to equip NEMA with disaster reduction related products of Japan.
In his address, he said that, “This project we are commissioning worth JPY 500m is meant to support Nigeria’s effort to equip NEMA with disaster reduction related products of Japan.
The Japanese Charge’ d’ Affaires further noted that, “Japan and Nigeria have many things in common, one of which is the occurrence of natural disasters, and that readily coming to mind are the past earthquakes that devastated part of Kansui region and the tsunami in Tohoku region, all in Japan.
The disaster reduction equipment which were received on behalf of the President by the Humanitarian Affairs Minister comprised Nine Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps (for search and rescue) and four Mitsubishi Fusso water purification trucks.