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Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2019

Nigeria loses $665bn to disaster in 3 years, says NEMA

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By Mashe Umaru Gwamna

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has decried the effects of disaster, noting that about $665 billion has been lost n the last three years due to disasters.
NEMA Director General, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja, made the disclosure during the 2019 celebration of ‘International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction’ with the theme; ‘Build to last’ in Abuja.
He said the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction noted that the losses occurred globally and a considerable proportion of those losses comes from infrastructure failures in high-income countries.”
He said, “According to the United Nations International strategy for Disaster Reduction, there are about $665billion direct economic losses during the past three years .A considerable proportion of those losses comes from infrastructures failures in high-income countries.
According to him, “ the theme has captured the essence why we must work towards integrating disaster risk reduction into investment decisions which is the most cost-effective way to reduce risk.”
“Weak implementation and enforcement mechanisms are common problems in countries where most urban development is informal, as such when critical infrastructure fails, businesses experience indirect losses, as production, distribution and supply chains are interrupted.
“The recurring disasters and their impacts on our people and environment must serve as a wake up call to all stakeholders, governments at all levels, individuals and the organized private sector must rise up to their responsibilities on disaster risk reduction.
“Disaster risk reduction is everybody’s business; therefore the need to re-strategize and foster stronger collaboration on principled and effective disaster management remains paramount. Despite the competing demands for resources, we must work together to improve the lives of the vulnerable citizens as well as enhance their resilience.”
Maihaja, who was represented by the Director of Finance and Account, Mr. Sunday Hamman, explained that the most effective way to reduce risk was by incorporating disaster risk reduction into investment decisions.
Also speaking, the representative of the Minister of Works and Housing, Arc. Mosunmade Odusanya said “Priority should be given for the consideration of planning, environmental issues, structural design, construction and other building components that can stand the test of time occasioned by unforeseen disaster.
“At the pre-design, design, construction and post-construction stages, the provisions in the National Building Code, Fire Code and other environmental prescriptions should be adequately considered.
“Spaces for human habitation, workspaces, setbacks, access roads, fire prevention and firefighting equipment; ecological, geophysical thermal consideration should take the prime of place.”
He also said risks could be avoided if people have respect for nature and other environmental issues.

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