Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, has called on state governments to prioritize disaster management by improving the funding and strengthening the capacities of their State Emergency Management Agencies, to meet up with current security challenges in the country.
The NEMA boss made the call at a recent interactive meeting of stakeholders on disaster management in Sokoto.
He also urged participants that were drown from Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states to intensify efforts in building the capacity of their management institutions so as to effectively deliver on their responsibilities.
He pointed out that states were encouraged to develop their coordinating systems in line with the national coordination mechanism, as this would reduce cost and shorten response time.
Sani Sidi, who spoke through the agency’s Director of Planning, Dr. Zanna Mohammed, asserted that no nation or state, no matter how powerful or technologically developed was immune to disaster, hence the need for state governments to support their state emergency management agencies in disaster mitigation.
“No state or organisation in the world can effectively and efficiently handle a disaster of significant magnitude alone. We cannot stop or ultimately prevent disasters from occurring, but there are a lot of things we can do to lessen the devastating consequences of disasters.
“Thus, mitigation, preparedness and disaster risk reduction are measures we can collectively adopt to achieve the set targets,” Sani Sidi said.
He stated that the meeting was timely considering the enormity of security challenges, hazards and disasters confronting the three states and the country in general.
The Director General also emphasised that NEMA was saddled with the task of coordinating the activities of all relevant stakeholders in disaster management so as to avoid duplication of roles and disorganized response in the event of disaster and emergency.
He said for the agency to achieve its statutory role, coordination, exchange of ideas and knowledge as well as collaboration with stakeholders was necessary elements it must nurture.
He expressed optimism that the interactive session would come up with strategies that would enhance mitigation and response to flood, drought, fire outbreaks and security challenges in the zone.
In a remark, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sahabi Isa Gada, reaffirmed the state’s commitment towards supporting the agency to mitigate disaster in the state.